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Sunday, August 30, 2015

Help I Have Two (or more) Accounts

I don't know about you, but I signed up for two Google accounts and then I used both of them at different times. It is confusing and I wanted to consolidate them into one account. I was able to do it, but it was a little complicated. In this post I will list the steps to use to consolidating Google Accounts.

1. Find out what is on the different accounts. 

  • In the top corner when you are logged in you will see your information. 
  • Click on the picture or your email address on the far right and choose MY ACCOUNT.

2.  A webpage opens up with all sorts of ways that you can work with your account. Choose Delete My Accounts or Services.
3. After you click again on Delete my Account this will give you a list of what is on your account. You will have to spend some time looking and thinking about what is on your different accounts, what you want to save, what you want to move to the combined account and what doesn't matter. It is a little scary to click on Delete My Account for the second time, but it really just gives you information. You are not deleteing your account yet. 

4. Once you have decided which account to keep and which to delete you will have to deal with all of the content that is in the account that you are going to delete. Some of the information will transfer to your other account, but some of it will have to be downloaded to your computer and then uploaded to the other account.

Google is clear about the fact that the data in your account belongs to you and you have the right to download that data. Here are some examples of ways I could deal with the data from my account. 

  • Blogger - I would need to download my blog and then recreate it with the address I want to use and upload it again.
  • Drive - I would share all of the documents and folders in my Drive account with the email address of the other account. Then when they are deleted in one place I will have them in the other.
  • Gmail - I would probably download my mail and have an archive on my computer rather than uploading it again to my other address. I could forward any mail that I want to be sure is in my other account.
  • Photos - I would need to download my photos from this account and add them to the other account.
  • YouTube - I would need to download any videos and upload them to my other account.
  • Calendar - Most likely I would just let this be deleted because I would be using the calendar on the other account. I suppose any appointments I need to show on my current calendar could just be added.
  • Chrome Sync - I wouldn't worry about this because it is just my bookmarks.
  • Contacts - I would need to export my contacts from one account and then import them into my other account.
There are a few other services that Google owns, so you will have to take each one individually and decide what you want to do with it. 

After looking at all of that you may think that it is not worth all of the work to combine the accounts. You can just leave them both up there and use only one of them from now on in order to make it less confusing. One will have current info and the other will be an archive. 

If you decide to do the transfer there are two choices once you have emptied out one of the accounts. You can DEACTIVATE or DELETE the account. When you delete an account you can NEVER use that username again. It is gone. When you deactivate the account the account and the information that is left in it is kept in an archive and if you ever want to use that account again you can activate it. 

If you are wanting to do this, but need a little comfort and a little walking through call (512)560-2609 or email me ( I can connect with your computer. It does not matter where you are I can help you out :-)

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Chip Credit Cards

While we were on our recent trip to Greece, Spain and Belgium there were several times that we could not use our Credit Cards because the store we were at did not have a Magnetic strip reader anymore. Most of the world has switched to credit cards that have a chip embedded in them. 

The Chips are called EMV which stands for Europay, Mastercard and Visa. They are more secure than the cards with the magnetic strips because they actually have an embedded computer chip in them. Every time an EMV card is used for payment, the card chip creates a unique transaction code that cannot be used again.

The transition to this type of card is expensive for banks and for all merchants who take credit cards. The cards are different and the equipment to take them is also different. What makes it worthwhile is that the technology used by the cards is much more secure. Each transaction creates a different number and that is used instead of your credit card number to keep track of the transaction. No one has access to your credit card number except you. Even the online records are connected to this one time number rather than your card. 

There are two ways to use the card. Instead of swiping a magnetic strip you will dip your card into a slot that will allow it to be read and approved. Some cards and some merchants have tapping technology and all you will need to do is to tap the card on a certain spot. This type of technology is more expensive, so it is possible that many places will only have the dipping technology.

By October 1, 2015 all credit card transactions are supposed to be upgraded to use chips, but it is likely that they will not all be ready. At first the card from your bank will have both a magnetic strip and a chip. If a merchant has not changed their equipment yet you can use the magnetic strip, but the big change is that the merchant is responsible if there is any hacking of the information. Merchants are hurrying to make the changes.

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