Google releases account activity tool

March 29, 2012

How do you spend your time on Google? If you’re curious, Google has released a new tool that allows those with accounts to look at their monthly activity on Google while signed in to its services. Users can opt to receive the reports by e-mail. Those who choose to receive the reports will receive a link directing them to sign in to their accounts for a summary of their online activity.

The report will tell users information such as how many e-mails they’ve sent and received in the past month, their Web history (if they’ve opted to have Google collect it), where they surf the Web, what browser they use, and information on accounts associated with their e-mail address. As people run more reports, the activity summary will also note changes in use over time.

Google suggested in a company blog post that the tool will allow users to have more insight into their account use and also give them the opportunity to find if someone else is using their 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,” wrote Andreas Turek, a Google product manager.

For a more comprehensive look at your Google account activity, users can still sign in to Google Dashboard to look at all of their services.

My report was sparse, as I have opted out of the Web search history tool, but I did find out that I sent 88 e-mails from my personal account last month, and received 5,375 — sorry for not writing back, folks. It also told me that the people I contact most are my editor and fellow writers here at The Post. So much for separating e-mail addresses.

Related stories:

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Google unified privacy settings unsettle users

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Hayley Tsukayama covers consumer technology for The Washington Post.
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