Recently, I was forced to log in to my Gmail account with a browser to keep using it.
Then, Gmail noted that the "alternate e-mail address", my 1999 Hotmail one, which I had long ago associated with my Gmail account (in 2004), has been "detected as not secure". I forget the exact phrasing. Something about it being detected as not secure.
I'm 100% sure that I have never used the password for that Hotmail account anywhere else, and that it has not leaked, and that the account was not compromised.
However, I was still locked out of it, since approx. 2014, when Microsoft started demanding that you enter a phone number to access the account, refusing to let me dismiss it. So I was (and remain) "essentially" locked out of it.
Is it possible that, somehow, Gmail could detect this from a third-party service? What else could they mean by "detected as not secure"? Some guesses:
- Maybe they have some means of checking the age of the account, and just assume that since it was registered in 1999, it must be abandoned?
- Maybe it's listed in some kind of leak database, even though any password there would not be usable to log in since I never used the password elsewhere and have not been so careless as to leak it.
- They are just making random nonsense up because it's a competitor's address.