Technology & Science

Google offers 2GB free storage for security check

Google is offering a treat to users who review their security settings this week — two gigabytes of extra online storage for Gmail, Google Drive and Google Plus.

Redesigned security checkup tool launched for Safer Internet Day

Users who use Google's redesigned security checkup by Feb. 17 will get an extra 2 gigabytes of free extra storage in their Google account, which normally provides users 15 gigabytes of free storage per account. (Jens Meyer/Associated Press)

Google is offering a treat to users who review their security settings this week — two gigabytes of extra cloud storage for Gmail, Google Drive and Google+.

Google launched a redesigned security checkup tool today in recognition of Safer Internet Day, the company announced in a blog post Tuesday.

Users can access it through their account settings. Andreas Tuerk, product manager for Google, says the checkup takes "just a few minutes."

During the time, the tool will:

  • Encourage users to add a phone number they can use to access their account if they are locked out.
  • Review users' recent sign-ins to make sure no one else has signed into their account.
  • Ask users to look over the apps, websites and devices connected to their Google account to make sure those are trusted accounts that they use.

Google recommends re-running the checkup whenever you get a new phone or computer that will access your Google account.

Eligible users who do the checkup by Feb. 17 will get the free extra storage in their Google account, along with an email confirmation, around Feb. 28, wrote Alex Vogenthaler, group product manager for Google Drive, on the Google Drive blog. Users normally get 15 gigabytes of free storage per account. (You can buy an extra 100 gigabytes for $1.99 per month).

Those with ordinary Google accounts will get the free storage, but not Google Apps for Work and Google Apps for Education users. But even those who can't get the bonus storage should still consider taking the security checkup, Vogenthaler said.

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