Google is giving away 2GB Drive space for 2 minutes of your time

Google is offering 2GB of additional storage capacity on Drive to people who take a few minutes to complete its account security checkup.

If you haven’t checked what non-Google apps have access to your Google account in recent times, the next few days might be the time to do it. Tuesday is Safer Internet Day and for the second year running Google is offering all its users 2GB of additional storage on Drive if they check and update their security settings.

The check up guides users through account recovery information, connected devices, account permissions and ‘app-specific passwords’ linked to its two-step verification feature.

Consumers can buy standard hard drives for about nine cents per gigabyte these days but if they want the convenience of the cloud it’ll cost more. Google offers the first 15GB for free and charges $24 a year for anything further up to 100GB of space. With its popular Google Photos on offer, an extra 2 GB is likely to be appealing.

Google hasn’t officially announced the offer this year but Android users have reported receiving the offer, which can be claimed through its security checkup URL.

To gain the additional storage, users will need to visit Google’s security checkup link and review the recovery phone and email address details, and also check any connected devices. The third step involves reviewing any apps, websites and devices connected to Google accounts.

Finally, the process prompts the user to review any passwords for apps that don’t use Google’s two-step verification, which the company originally called “app specific passwords”. This stage shows when the password was created for an app, such as Apple’s Mail app, for a particular device, and when it was last used.

The process helps identify app-specific passwords that might have been used several years ago on devices no longer used by the account holder. As Google notes, users should only store passwords for apps that they “know, use and trust”.

This particular security feature was Google’s answer to resolving access issues when apps, such as Apple’s Mail app for iOS, don’t support Google two-step verification process. Enabling two-step verification for accounts like Gmail requires users to enter a verification code — either generated by Google’s Authenticator app or sent by SMS — upon a login attempt. For apps that don’t support this feature when it is enabled, Google asks the user to authorise the app’s permission to the Google account with a 16-digit passcode.

Read more: The week in security: CSO confidence declining; endpoint security in “sorry state”

Google began offering the 2GB additional storage in Drive last year as an incentive to prompt users to follow the security check instructions it had offered in a blog post in support of Safer Internet Day.

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