Google celebrated Gmail’s ninth birthday with a nostalgic little infographic yesterday, but, not being one to rest on its laurels, the company is back with a brand new feature pertaining to the Google account in general. From now on, if your little patch of the Big G’s vast Web landscape just so happens to fall into a period of inactivity, you can decide exactly how you want your data to be handled from then on, and by whom.
The brand-new Inactive Account Manager offers a nice little tray of options for how you would like Google to deal with all the data that has been collected. As well as the ability to delete your data permanently should you so wish, you can also allot a time period of three, six or twelve months for which Google will retain data before pruning.
If you want to go one step further, you can even elect a friend to take the reigns of your Google account if it should ever become inactive. Of course, this friend would have to be fairly close / trusted, since all of your data from Contacts and Circles, Drive, Gmail, Google+ Profiles and YouTube among others, will be at stake.
Prior to any of the aforementioned occurring though, the automated system will issue you with a warning SMS to your provided phone number and secondary email.
If you want to check out your very own Inactive Account Manager, please follow this Google link, which should take you to your default Google account. Even if, like me, you log in to your Google every single day, it’s always better to have these things set to run in a streamlined, uninterrupted fashion, just incase. It will only take you a couple of minutes to apply the relevant settings, so head over now and make sure your account is set to your preferences in the event of inactivity.
It’s these kind of seemingly minimal, yet very useful updates that keep Google a couple of steps ahead of the game. Sure, not all of the company’s Web-based ventures are as successful as Search, Gmail and Maps, but with such a powerful portfolio and more on the way, the world’s reliance on the Google account will only grow stronger as time progresses.