Google Introduces Account Activity Feature; Will Send Monthly Reports To Users

29 Mar, 2012

Search giant Google has introduced a new feature called 'Account Activity' for Google account users. If a user signs up or 'opts in' for the feature, every month Google will send a link to a password-protected report which will contain insights into their signed-in use of Google services.

The report basically gives the user a monthly summary of his/her account activity across Google products including the locations from where they signed-in into their accounts (India, UK etc), the browsers they used to sign-in (Firefox, Chrome etc) and the platform they used (Windows, Mac etc). The report also talks about the authentication changes (like whether you added or deleted alternate e-mail addresses) and it also tells you about the places you visited (calculated according to the various places you signed in from).

"Knowing more about your own account activity can also help you take steps to protect your Google Account. For example, if you notice sign-ins from countries where you haven't been or devices you've never owned, you can change your password immediately and also sign-up for the extra level of security provided by 2-step verification," wrote Andreas Tuerk, product manager at Google in an official Google blog post.

Other details include the total number of e-mails sent and received (graph showing the daily breakdown of mails also available) with details of how many contacts you have sent them to and the increase or decrease in comparison to the previous month. The report also shows the e-mail addresses of the contacts with which you have exchanged the most number of e-mails.

The report also shows the web history- how many searches have you done (with percentage increase or decrease), what did you search the most for (hotel, book, team etc) and a split between the web and image search (like 80 per cent was web search and the remaining 20 per cent was images).

Additionally, the will also inform the user on how often their YouTube videos have been viewed.

Data deletion at the data source (like the Web history) will not change the usage reports but the reports can be deleted at any time. Users can also choose to stop generating reports any time they want.

We tried the feature and within a few minutes we received an activity report dating back one month. Surely it's an interesting feature to get to know if your account has being hacked; it can create its own security risks. Will you opt for it?