recoverability manifesto

Towards a recoverable internet

Account recovery matters. No user wants to be the victim of account-loss or account-takeover. No service wants this to happen to their users. Apply the following simple steps to maximise your recoverability online.

0. Do not create new online accounts

Resist making new accounts as you navigate your digital life. This is the only way to guarantee that you will not lose access to them.

1. Reduce your number of online accounts

Delete your unused accounts. If you haven’t used an account in more than 6 months, consider deleting it for good.

Tip: Don’t forget to export and backup any important data from that account!

2. Use only recoverable online accounts

Research a service’s account recovery policies before signing up for an account with them. If you can’t recover an account in the future, don’t sign-up for it now! If you learn that an existing account of yours is not recoverable, try to find a competing service who cares more about their users.

Tip: Check out our Recoverability Index to learn which services are taking account recovery seriously

3. Make your online accounts as recoverable as possible

Avail of all the strong account recovery features offered to you by a service. Avoid the weak account recovery features – e.g. those that depend on another account (e.g. email/webmail) or a phone number.

Tip: Ask your favourite services to adopt the state-of-the-art account recovery strategies here –

4. Develop an emergency plan

Consider which of your online accounts are most important to you. Make a step-by-step plan for recovering each of these online accounts in case of emergency., Prepare that plan for yourself. Share that plan with your close contacts (and vice versa) – so that they can help you or even recover your accounts themselves, on your behalf.

Tip: Make a checklist for each of your most valued accounts

5. Test your emergency plan

“Don’t trust, verify” that your accounts are recoverable through regular practice. You don’t want the first time you execute your plan to be the time you actually need it!

Tip: Try this exercise – pretend that you’ve lost your phone and see if you can recover your account without it!


articles and presentations from industry experts around the world discussing account recovery issues and opportunites

all too many people suffer in silence, however this is an example of just some of the horror stories related to account takeover

international events for our community and partners to share ideas, projects, and solutions for a more recoverable internet

a round-up of all things account recovery, with additional analysis and commentary from the recoverability community

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