Google's New Way To Combat Identity Theft

There’s never a good time to have your identity stolen. Without a doubt, there’s always a creepiest time for it, even after death. If you’re not familiar with the term “ghosting”, it’s a thing. And it happens about 2.5 million times per year. It’s when a dead person’s identity is stolen. The most common way this happens is when creepy bad peeps troll death announcements and look for open accounts and online information. The bet is that they’ll be able to crack the code before anyone will catch on. Talk about a difficult time for many families, being made worse. 

Here’s the first bit of advice to avoid being ghosted and to protect loved ones that have passed. Do everything you can to account for and close every account that exists with personal information attached. Google’s now actually moving the needle in a way that you can proactively manage.

As part of Google’s new process to allow you to control your data, including deleting stuff Google stores after three months, you can now control the death of your account. Google’s new settings will allow you to share your accounts with up to ten people you choose upon news of one’s death. It also allows you to delete your account at death or after a period of inactivity that you specify. Aside from the semi-creep factor of setting up your death on Google, it’s a good idea that hopefully will be adapted by other companies. 

Photo by: Sean Gallup/Getty Images

 

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