(Pocket-lint) - Did you know Google offers a dedicated dashboard to every person who wants to adjust their Google Account settings? It's true. Well, the company has just taken that useful hub and completely overhauled it (or simplified it, really).
Go look at your My Account management page right now, and if you've visited the page before, you should immediately notice all the changes and new options. It now separates all your account-related settings into the three main categories: Sign-in and Security, Personal info and privacy, and Account preferences.
Most of you probably use a Google product (whether that be Maps, Gmail, YouTube, or even Google Search), but before you use them, you likely sign into your Google Account. So, we've taken a closer look at how Google's new Account setup works, with the hopes of helping you take better control of your online life.
How do you access My Account?
The easiest way to access your My Account management page is to open it directly using the following link:
You could also visit any Google product online, then click your profile icon at the top, and select My Account from there, but you'll need to be signed in to your Google Account first (which you can do here).
For those of you who need to sign up for a Google Account, visit Google's Create Your Account page and fill in all the necessary information required, such as designating a username and a password.
Why did Google overhaul My Account?
Google wants you to control your Google experience from one place. My Account is designed to give you access to settings and tools for managing your Google experience on all Google products, including Google Search.
So, as part of this new vision, Google has finally packaged privacy settings under My Account (instead of requiring you to visit an entirely different page in order to access privacy and security controls). Handy, right?
My Account has been integrated with Google Search for discovery purposes.
That means there is technically a third way to access your Google Account now: just search for "Google dashboard" in Google Search (or things like "change google password"), and then a link to My Account should surface in the results.
And if that wasn't enough, Google also added a My Account icon to the Google Bar. So, tap the grid-like button at the top of Google Search to bring up all of Google's product icons, and you'll see a new icon just for My Account.
Google has described the My Account dashboard as "more structured, more organised, and more intuitive", and that last bit is key. The new setup is completely optimised for touchscreen devices - not just desktops and laptops.
How does My Account work now?
Sign-in and Security
This is the first main category under My Account, and it has options for letting you manage how to sign into Google. Also, from this section, you can monitor device activity, device notifications, and all your connected apps and sites.
More specifically, you can go to this section to see when your password was last changed or if two-step verification has been used. You can also see whether app passwords are configured and access recovery options.
If you scroll further down on the page, the "device activity & notifications" area will show you all the devices that were used recently to connect to your account, along with a link to manage security alert settings.
You will see an area at the bottom of the category with all the apps and services that you have authorised. Keep in mind Google uses this same single-page design for all the categories under My Account.
Personal info and privacy
This second category lets you edit your personal info, which includes things like your email, phone number, and Google+ profile details. You can use a Privacy Checkup tool in order to swiftly adjust all your privacy settings to your liking.
You can also control account history, ad settings, account overview, and content from this area. You can turn off the account history, for instance, or hault the recording of "searches and your browsing activity".
Google even provides you with the ablity to decide whether it can keep track of your voice searches, location history, and YouTube videos searches. Other options listed on the page involve specifying the types of tailored ads you'd like to see.
And finally, Google let's you make a copy of content stored in your account from here, which you can basically just download and then use on another service. You can also approve a family member to download your content.
This third section is pretty straightforward.
Google has included links to manage your language and input and accessibility tools. And below that you can see how much Drive storage you have and delete your account or specific Google services associated with your account. Simples.
Is there anything else you should know?