Google Inactive Account Manager is Google’s way of helping you decide what happens to data stored in your Google Account after you pass away. Or, if you’re incapable of using it, or simply not using it anymore, for some reason (in which case you can just delete it).
Now, if you can set a message to be sent to your Facebook friends when you’re no longer in this world, how do you control what happens to the data in your Google Account?
Just go to this address to access Google’s Inactive Account Manager, and click Setup.
Google will ask you to add a phone number, as well as an alternate e-mail address of where to be contacted — in case of a mistake or in case you just forgot about the account, this could be very useful. Remember to have the phone close by, as you’ll get a verification code (the message is similar to the ones used for 2-factor authentication).
Next set up the interval after which your account should be considered inactive – it can be between three months and a year. I chose nine months, as something is definitely wrong if I haven’t used Gmail for that long.
Next, you can choose up to ten trusted contacts – these are people who will be notified after the interval you’ve set in the step above.
When you add a trusted contact, you can decide whether they get access to your data or not. Make sure there is no data in that account that you wouldn’t want them to see, even after you’re not around anymore. If you’re not 100% sure, it might be better to let Google delete it.
If you decide that a contact should get access to some of your data, you can choose which data in the next step. You’ll need to provide a phone number, too, so that they get a verification code after the account is inactive. They’ll get access to the data you’ve chosen for three months.
You’ll also be able to add a message to be sent to said contacts, as well as an auto-reply, should someone email you. You can also decide to only send the auto-reply to contacts.
Last but most certainly not least, you can decide whether your data should be deleted when all of the actions have been completed. After you’ve made up your mind, you can just click Enable. Remember that you can always come back and tweak the settings.
Inactive Account Manager could be a useful tool, especially these days, when we leave a lot of data behind. It seems like a good idea to know what happens to it after you’re not here anymore.