We knew they were watching, and last week, they proved it. Google “Activity Reports” were launched on March 28, and they might just blow your mind. Want to know how many emails you get in your GMail account every month? How about where you logged in from? You can learn this information from Google on a regular basis and more. All you do is sign up, and Google will provide a password-protected monthly report to show you what your activity was the previous month across the Googleverse.
To get a Google Activity Report, just go to your Google profile page and click on “Products.” You’ll see “Activity” in the upper left-hand corner. Click there, Google will ask you to agree to terms, and then, schedule a report.
Some of the items it reports on are:
- What country or countries you sign in from
- What browsers you sign in from
- What operating systems you use
- Other email addresses you use
- App specific passwords
- Connected sites, apps, and services
- How many emails sent from GMail
- How many emails received in GMail from how many recipients
- The email addresses you send mail to the most
- How many videos you’ve uploaded to YouTube
- What your most popular video is
- Where viewers of your videos are from
- Google Latitude Information, which tells Google where you are, exactly and measures your miles traveled.
- Your Web History (which I have disabled, so no info there)
Pretty interesting, really. Google knows more about us than we might think or even like.
Of course, you can disable any of the services you now have with Google, such as Latitude, for example. And if you can’t remember what accounts or sites are connected to your Google account, you can change that when you find out what they are.
But lord, when I saw I received 964 emails, just in my GMail account alone (not counting the other addresses I have, right?), it floored me.
The data doesn’t seem to be all that useful, but Google says, “Knowing more about your own account activity also can help you take steps to protect your Google Account. 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 ….”
So, yeah… I’m thinking that’s one good thing about it. Plus, if you’re tracking several YouTube videos or if you’re an AdSense or AdWords user, that part of the Google Activity Report might be useful, too. I’m not and I’m not sure some things will even be reported on, but I’ve only seen one month’s stats. So, who knows? It could be something I want to watch over time. I’m a total stats junkie, so if you’re like me, you may want to play around with this, too.