Internet giant Google is hoping to both encourage file security and promote its Google Drive cloud-based storage service, so to mark Safer Internet Day, the tech giant announced that it was giving away 2 GB of free Google Drive storage to anyone who completed its Security Checkup. The checkup, which takes about two minutes, ensures that users' account recovery information is current, lets users look over their recent sign-in activity, and allows them to monitor the list of apps and devices that access their account information.
Normally, Google Drive provides 15 GB of storage free of charge, with an additional 100 GB costing $1.99 per month, or 1 TB for $9.99 per month.
When the checkup is run and it detects suspicious activity in a user's account, Google uses the user's recovery info to get in touch and make sure no one else can gain access. A review of sign-in activity lets users validate that account sign-ins are coming from them and not someone who shouldn't be using their credentials. Confirming apps and devices lets users monitor this list and remove apps and devices that don't need access to their account anymore.
While Safer Internet Day was Tuesday, customers have until next Tuesday, Feb. 17, to complete the checkup. Once it's finished, the free 2 GB of storage space is theirs to keep. Google Apps for Work and Google Apps for Education users are not eligible for the bonus storage but Google still encouraged those users to run the Security Checkup.
"While everything stored in Drive is always encrypted in transit and at rest in Google's custom-built data centers, this checkup ensures you're making the most of the 24/7 protection you already get from Google," Drive Group Product Manager Alex Vogenthaler wrote in a blog post. "It takes just a couple of minutes and, unlike other checkups, it won't leave you feeling guilty about not flossing."
Once users have successfully completed the checkup, they'll see a group of three green checkboxes confirming the availability of the free storage. Google said it will be granting the storage automatically to everyone who completed the checkup toward the end of February, and will send users an e-mail confirming that when their adjustment is complete.
"Ideally, you'll revisit this checkup every so often or anytime your account changes, like when you get a new phone or replace an old laptop," Vogenthaler wrote.
Google is the latest provider to entice users with free storage that comes with a small catch. Microsoft announced this week that it was giving away 100 GB of free OneDrive cloud storage for two years to U.S. residents who sign up for a Bing Rewards account. Interested users can sign up on Bing.com, go to the Bing Rewards dashboard. There, you can find an option to redeem the free 100 GB. Users must opt-in to e-mails promoting OneDrive for the offer to take effect, however.