Keep Tabs on Your Google ‘Account Activity’ Via New Tool

Who do you email most? What were your most-searched terms on Google last month? Are you perhaps spending a bit too much time looking up cat videos on YouTube?

Google today introduced a new service, dubbed Account Activity, that will keep your apprised of, well, your account activity. Those who sign up will receive a monthly report about what they did in the previous weeks across Google’s services – provided they’re signed in.

“Every day we aim to make technology so simple and intuitive that you stop thinking about it—we want Google to work so well, it just blends into your life,” Andreas Tuerk, a Google product manager, wrote in a blog post. “But sometimes it’s helpful to step back and take stock of what you’re doing online.”

Tuerk said his Account Activity report, for example, told him that he sent 5 percent more emails than the previous month, and conducted 12 percent more searches. An Italian hotel was his most-emailed contact, thanks to an upcoming European vacation.

“Knowing more about your own account activity also can help you take steps to protect your Google Account,” he wrote. “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 sign up for the extra level of security provided by 2-step verification.”

An image of Tuerk’s Account Activity report posted on the Google blog (click above) showed the location of his account sign-ins (Germany, U.K.), the browsers he used, and the platforms from which he accessed his account (Android, Mac, and Chrome OS).

It also listed alternate email addresses, app-specific passwords, and connected sites, as well as stats about Gmail and Search usage.

Those who want to sign up can do so via the Account Activity website.

Google already has a similar feature via Dashboard, but users have to seek out those stats on a standalone site. Dashboard, introduced in late 2009, aggregates information from a variety of different Google accounts, like Gmail, Docs, Google+, Picasa, and more.

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