There’s been a lot of talk recently about what happens/should happen to your social media accounts when you die. While some services are offering virtual time capsules to be released at the time of your death, Google’s taken a very practical approach: you can designate up to 10 trusted friends or family members to deal with your accounts should you become inactive on them. Meet Google Inactive Account Manager.
This new Google service allows you to choose your inactive period (anywhere from 3 months to 1 year) and will alert you one month before this period ends. Once you’ve been deemed inactive, pre-selected friends and family members will have access to your account data OR, alternately, you can have Google delete your accounts on your behalf. Should you choose, you can also set an automatic reply for any new emails received once you’re deemed inactive. This might be the most morbid feature of the Inactive Account Manager.
Process-wise, this is a fairly easy way to plan for your eventual demise. It doesn’t require your family members to send in obituaries & death certificates, as Gmail used to demand, and your page doesn’t have to be manually memorialized like it does on Facebook. Like a will, your list of trusted contacts is the kind of thing you’d need to keep up to date: you wouldn’t want your information to fall into the wrong hands posthumously!
Your “trusted contact” will have the ability to download your data on Google+, Gmail, Blogger, YouTube and more for up to three months, but they won’t be able to act as you on the sites. If you’d like to leave a final message, you’ll have to provide your passwords instead.
All in all, Google Inactive Account Manager seems like a great option for those concerned about the future of their data. It’s easy to use and easy to understand and will get your information in the right hands where necessary.
Will you enable Google Inactive Account Manager?