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How to prepare Google accounts for your digital afterlife

We are currently living in a world where our digital identity, our carbon footprint, and our data are worth equal or sometimes greater than the assets we possess in the offline world. We have personal information, financial information, sensitive data, conversations, memories, connections, etc., which we have created during the time we have spent surfing the world online.

But have you ever thought about what happens to all the content that you have accumulated and created online after you have passed?

■ How can I pass it on to someone?

■ Who can access my data?

■ Who owns my accounts?

■ How can I deal with it when such a moment arrives?

For many of us, the web products and services of Google are among the most frequently used items, both at work and at home. Whether it is for communication (emails, messages, chats, etc.), data storage or information sharing (documents, photographs, files, etc.) and assets (financial and other valuable documents, accounts, etc.).

Follow the steps provided below to set this up and make sure your Google account information is passed on to someone else safely and securely, or managed according to your preferences.

Data points that you can choose to be shared will include your Gmail data, YouTube account, Hangouts communications, Google Photos, Drive data, etc. For example, person A can only receive your Drive data and person B can only receive your Gmail data, and so on. Once your account becomes inactive and the chosen people have access to your Google data, they will have up to three months to download all the data that they have received.

However, if you do not wish to share your information with anyone, Google also gives you the option of deleting your account after a certain period of inactivity.

  1. To start setting up your “Inactive Account Manager”, go to your Google Account’s My Account page and choose the “Data and Personalization” page. You can also visit https://myaccount.google.com/inactive directly when you are logged into your Google account.
  2. Activate the service by hitting the “Start” button, which can be found at the top of the page.
  3. You will be required to configure three main settings to complete the process. The first is when Google should consider your account inactive. Indicate the duration of inactivity and the contact details for the transfer.
  4. The second setting is to choose who to notify and what information to share after your account is confirmed to be inactive. To do this, you can fill in the email address of one or more people and choose what data or information each of them will receive.
  5. The third setting is to decide whether all of your data will be deleted by Google once your account is inactive. If you choose to enable this option, the people informed in the previous step will have up to 3 months to download the information that was shared with them. After 3 months, Google will delete all your data and it will be difficult to recover it.

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