Today, Email account is inseparable part of everyone’s life. Email account is major tool of communication for all of your business and office work and up to some extent personal work. So down the line your email account becomes a repository of very important information containing important posts, links, photos and other personal data. It may be possible that for a period of time for example say few months, you could not access your email account due to your busy schedule or you are out for some work where internet connectivity is not available. In such cases it may happen that your email account may get closed. Sorry to write this but situation where in you may encounter an accident or sick or passed away. What will happen to your important personal information? It becomes very much necessary that this personal valuable information should fall in safe hands.
Recently an incident happened with my friend. He is renowned social worker in India. He went to some remote place for the work and stayed for more than 6 months. After returning back, he found that his email account is closed and all data vanished. Hence letting the email account information to be handed over to known person during your absence is of vital importance.
To let the information fall in hands of the person who is known to you and to send you the notification well before the closure of your email account, Google has provided “Inactive Account Manager”. In short you create a nominee for your bank account; exactly in same way you create a nominee for your Google account.
Let’s understand how we can set up Nominee information for Google account –
When you open your G-Mail account, in the right hand upper corner, near to you photograph small triangle is present. Click on it to see you email Id and Name. Below this you will find Account – Privacy option. Click on Account option. Scroll down till you see the heading “Account Management”. Below this heading click on the highlighted option as shown below –
Various options will be displayed on the page. All these options are mandatory to fill to enable your nominee to receive the information present your email account. Let’s take them one by one –
Alert Me –
As the name indicates, you can add your mobile number and email address to receive notifications about actions performed on your account. So if you have alternate email id or relative, wife or friends email Id, you can provide it here and you will start receiving alerts about the activities performed on your account.
Timeout Period –
You can set the timeout period for your Gmail account. I usually keep it as 18 months.
Notify Contacts and Share Data –
This is very important step and by which you can nominate a person who can view your data of email account and they will get notified that your account is inactive. There are two ways to do this. Either you can add “Trusted Contact” or you can add “Auto Response”.
When you click on trusted contact option – following screen will appear –
This is where you can add email of a person you trust. This persona can be your wife, brother, a close relative or best friend. Or even you girlfriend. But be 100% sure before you trust your girlfriend. J Just kidding…
In the above figure you can see highlighted checkbox. This option allows you to share your Google account data with trusted contact. If you select this option and click next, you will be presented with a dialog box where in you can select various Google products. Only these selected products data will be shared with your trusted contact. Hence this option offers you more flexibility in terms of sharing. Also the trusted contact will need to specify the verification code whenever he / she wish to access your data. This is an additional security level added b Google so that mishandling of data will not occur. Hence trusted contact’s mobile number is mandatory for this option.
If you don’t wish to add trusted contact you can simply set up an auto response to your mail.
Optionally Delete Account –
If you wish, you can instruct Google to delete your account when you are done with all requirements of using a particular account.
This is the most important step. If you miss this it then there will be no use of setting other options in Inactive Account Manager. You need to “Enable Inactive Account Manager” so that your desired operations will be performed on your account in case your account gets inactive. You will be able to enable Inactive Account Manager only if you have setup an option of trusted contact or auto response or instruct Google to delete your account.
Hope you understand the importance of assigning nominee to your Google account. This is an excellent feature provided by Google and you should leverage its benefits.
Hope this helps.