In the event of your death, what will happen to your Gmail account? This is a question that most people do not ask and when they pass on, their account remains open. If you’re in control of a business account, this may mean that vital information is inaccessible to coworkers or other owners. When you pass on, there is an option to setup Gmail to be handled appropriately in the event of your death.
Inactive Account Manager
Google provides an easy means of deactivating your account. If your account goes unused for a specified amount of time, your account will be closed and the data will be lost. This can be setup easily by following these instructions:
- Log into your account.
- Click here to setup the Inactive Account Manager.
- Click setup.
Within the setup, you will be able to choose from the following options:
- Timeout Period: This is the amount of time that needs to pass before your account is deemed inactive. Time begins to accrue starting from your last login. Ideally, several months will be needed before the timeout period is reached.
- Alerts: The option to receive alerts prior to the timeout period being reached is available. This will be sent to you via SMS or email.
- Trusted Contacts: An option is available to add trusted contacts to your account. These are persons that will be alerted that you are no longer using your account. Alternatively, you can also opt to share your data with these people at this time.
- Deletion: If you wish, your account can be deleted once it hits its inactive timeout.
Using the Inactive Account Manager, you can take full control over what happens when you die.
Things to Consider With Your Gmail Account
Email is a vital part of the way people communicate. While your personal email may not have a lot of vital information, this does not mean that it is not valuable. Family photos, saved mails from loved ones or mere contacts may be needed in the event of your death.
A few things to consider to ensure that your account is handled properly are:
- Include provisions in your will. Leave passwords and directions on what measures to take with your account to the will’s executor.
- Google may, in rare cases, provide access to an account. This process is lengthy, and the information on how to contact Google can be found here.
- Alternative email addresses can be added for account recovery purposes. This can be accessed by logging into your account and going to account settings. From here, navigate to the Personal Info tab and find the Email & Phone Now, add a recovery email for someone you trust as well as a phone number.
If you are using your email account for business-related purposes, you will want to provide the password to another party. This can be provided in your will, or it can be another party, such as a manager or co-owner of the business, that would need access to your account.
*Featured Image – Credit welcomia