Awhile ago, Google introduced MyAccount as a means to enable its users to manage and control their Google information.

I would suggest that you spend a few minutes reviewing your account page and discovering some of the features you can control.

Sharing myself

The first, and perhaps the most shocking, feature that I show people is the activity page under the Personal info & privacy button.Your activity includes items like your Google search history, but also information like your Google Location History Timeline.

Your Timeline is Google’s confirmation that “Big Brother” is following your every move. (And thankfully, Google’s plotting it out for you.)

Save it for later

One of the coolest features is the ability to Archive your Google data. This setting is found under the Control your content tab.

Creating an archive allows you to save particular pieces of information for transportation elsewhere.

Depending on the selection of products, the compilation of data will take a few minutes to complete, so be patient. Afterward, you’ll be able to log back into My Account to download the archive — file formats are either .zip or .tgz.

If you’re an enterprising lawyer, you probably thought, “perhaps this is a good way to get digital discovery from the opposing party.” And if you thought that, congratulate yourself, because yes, this is a very good way to obtain information. In fact, I’ve created this list of example discovery requests related to social media accounts. (If you have any requests to add, please let me know.)

I will add a caveat about the information in the archive: creating usable content, or deciphering some of the information, may require advanced technical expertise.

Security audit

Since we’re all stressing about cybersecurity, this is a good time to mention that Google has a simple security checkup you can perform on your account.

The security checkup shows you potential security problems with your account, and then gives you ways to fix the issues.

Many of the fixes require a few moments of time, and a quick click of a button or link.

Become familiar

Take a few minutes to become familiar with all of the features of Google’s My Activity page. I think you’ll be glad that you did.

Jeff Taylor

I'm just an ordinary guy living an extraordinary life. I'm also an attorney and I blog about Android for lawyers. You can follow me on Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, or Google+.

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