I use GrapheneOS ony phone and a Mac with the security options as optimized as possible. For most of my emailing etc, I use Tuta and Proton. There are instances however, where having a Google account is beneficial (some apps for example won’t download from Aurora store in anonymous mode).

Is it advisable/possible to create a dummy Google account with minimal ID/credentials? And if so, what are some best practices for doing so?

Or, do I resign myself to the fact that with more control over my data, I have to sacrifice more?

  • mox
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    191 month ago

    Last time I checked, the biggest obstacle to a new anonymous Google account was their phone number verification aggressively rejecting numbers that aren’t issued by well-known carriers. This includes most VoIP services, for example. If you can work around that, I expect signup would be easy.

    • @OnePhoenixOP
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      31 month ago

      I’ve tried a few of the SMS services online now. They either don’t work or are paid. I don’t mind paying for the service but I find it tedious and cumbersome.

      Wondering if perhaps a prepaid sim card paid for using a prepaid credit card would do the trick? I’ve used prepaid sim cards in the past and was able to get one without providing any real information on myself.

      • @Rolando
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        31 month ago

        Wondering if perhaps a prepaid sim card paid for using a prepaid credit card would do the trick?

        I paid cash for a dirt-cheap fliphone and a prepaid Tracfone card to set up an account with SMS but near-zero data, just for these purposes. It worked for me for google last month, but YMMV.

      • @[email protected]
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        11 month ago

        The thing I wonder about is whether such an account can stay in your possession even after you no longer have the sim. Where I live, the simcards that don’t require ID are illegal and thus you cannot guarantee that you’d stay in possession of it permanently. And even if it were legal - you’d have to be adding or spending funds to retain the sim.

        • @OnePhoenixOP
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          11 month ago

          Where I am, its perfectly legal to purchase a one time sim card. You can walk into the corner store, purchase a prepaid visa (with cash), and buy a sim card (with cash) at the same store. You can then go online, enter the sim card number into the site, add your prepaid visa as payment and whatever details you want. I’ve done it before and there is no ID verification whatsoever - I literally put in John Smith and it worked… As long as they have payment up front, I guess they don’t care. If I’m just using it for one time account verification, I’m not really worried about keeping the sim card long term.

          • mox
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            1 month ago

            I’ve done it before and there is no ID verification whatsoever

            Many such places will have footage of you making the purchase, and some will have a record of your mobile phone’s presence. This might not matter to most people, but whistleblowers (and anyone else who might be targeted by government or law enforcement) ought to think carefully before assuming they’re safely anonymous.

            • @OnePhoenixOP
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              1 month ago

              I was referring more to ID required for the sim card set up but, you bring up a good point, there will always be video surveillance. I’m also looking at this more from a privacy perspective, and less from a secrecy or detection perspective so I have no real concerns that a government agency will be trying to track me down.

          • @[email protected]
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            11 month ago

            Yea, I got this from your comment. I was wondering about different jurisdictions where this is not as easy - thought someone in the comments had such an experience.

  • @Linguist
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    51 month ago

    Maybe I’m wrong but if I recall don’t you need a phone number and such for a google account which is an identifier?

    • @Rolando
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      41 month ago

      I created a google account last month, using a new chromebook hooked up to wifi. It let me create the account without a phone number, let me install software etc. Then when I rebooted, it demanded a phone number because of “suspicious traffic”. (wtf?)

    • @[email protected]
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      41 month ago

      Last time I opened a new Google account ~2019 I noticed if you did it from some countries it didn’t ask for a phone number (even on a vpn). I remember Greece and Romania being two of them. It’s been a while since then but it’s worth a try. But you also had to receive an email within a few a hours otherwise it asked for a verification. This was all through trial and error so take it with a grain of salt of course.

    • @OnePhoenixOP
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      1 month ago

      Possibly, but other than that there aren’t any real verification steps when entering info to create an account (you can just add bogus info).

      If there is a phone number required, I have used burner numbers in the past which may work.

  • Simon Müller
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    21 month ago

    I’m curious about all the people in this thread saying regarding phone numbers considering I do have an account that’s just an email alias and thats it 🤔

    • @[email protected]
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      21 month ago

      How old is your account? I think the phone number requirement for new signups is relatively recent.

      • ultratiem
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        01 month ago

        Not relatively. Been that way for maybe 8 or more years. They also monitor the number. I’ve made 3-4 accounts using one over a series of maybe 5 years and when I tired to make a new one, it blocked the number for making too many. So I can now never have a Google account unless my number changes. And the poor sod who picks up my old number is also screwed lol