Google is offering account holders a permanent 2GB online storage upgrade if they run a simple security ‘check’ on their account with the firm.
Announced as part of Tuesday’s Safer Internet Day and running until 17 February, the incentive is Google’s way of persuading users to check the security settings on their accounts, which in many cases users won’t even know even exist.
Some of these settings are pretty basic such as making sure a recovery phone number and second email accounts are up to date, but others serve the useful purpose of taking people deeper into the guts of the data Google records on account use.
This includes a record of recent account access (including the browser used), the third-party applications that have permission to access the account, and the status of 2-Step Verification if that is set.
If users haven’t set that up, or don’t know what it is, there are plenty of explainers that run through the worthwhile effect it will have on every user’s security.
“After you’ve gone through the checkup successfully, you’ll see three green checkboxes that confirm you’re eligible for the free storage,” said Google’s Google Drive product manager, Alex Vogenthaler.
“We’ll be granting the storage automatically to everyone around 28 February 2015 and we’ll send you an email when your adjustment is complete.”
Only Google Apps for Work and Google Apps for Education are excluded from the offer.
Google’s account tools also show the data the firm has collected on browsing and even physical smartphone location going back as far as the service was in use.
Some will be unsettled by the sheer volume of information being collected on them when logged into Google, but at least the search giant brings people face-to-face with that fact.
Ordinary Google users already qualify for 15GB of free storage, Chromebook users an extra 100GB on top of that for what will likely be an indefinite period. A measly two Gigs isn’t much of an upgrade but if it persuades users to do something about security, its benefit will be worth it in the longer term.