A Google Account is a user account that provides access to Google-owned services such as Blogger, YouTube, and Google Groups. A Google Account sign up automatically creates a Gmail email account where as before Google Accounts could be email addresses other than Gmail.citation needed An account can be created by signing up for an email address with Gmail, but there are other ways. Accounts in EU countries used to employ the 'googlemail.com' domain because Google did not own the trademark.1 Google recently resolved the domain dispute, and now all users login with the Gmail domain,2 or by using an existing address from another provider.
After a Google Account is created, users can add other Google applications. Account settings are stored in one place, but many applications may store their own settings. Applications that may be accessed using a Google Account include:3
YouTube and Blogger maintain their own accounts for users that registered with the services before Google bought them. However, effective April 2011 YouTube users are now required to link to a separate Google Account if they wish to continue to log into that service.4
Users with a Google account can create a publicly accessible Google profile, which they can use to control how they are presented on Google products to other Google users. A Google profile can be linked to a user's profiles on various social-networking and image-hosting sites, as well as user blogs.
A Google Account can also be used by third party service providers. These providers can delegate user authentication to Google.citation needed
Google may block an account for various reasons, such as "unusual activity"5 or entering an age "not old enough" to own a Google account.6 Reactivation is possible using web-forms, providing proof of identity through valid photo ID,7 or a small credit card payment (at a cost of 0.30 USD). Other methods (such as sending a fax or uploading some requested document) require human interaction and may take some "days or a couple of weeks" to be accomplished.8
Google accounts can be protected by enhanced security known as “two-step verification”.9
A provider of a web application which requires users to log in can delegate this work to Google. When a user tries to gain access to a secure resource on the third party website they are redirected to the Google Accounts login page. Here they will see an explanation of why they need to log in with their Google credentials. Any data which is to be shared with the third party will also be listed on this screen. Once authentication has succeeded the user is redirected back to the referring site along with a token identifying them as having logged in via Google.citation needed
- Libbenga, Jan (January 31, 2007). "Google loses European GMail trademark battle". The Register.
- Google's answer on googlemail vs gmail for EU. Retrieved on 2010-07-14dead link
- "Even More Google Products". Google. Retrieved 9 July 2013.
- "Why Connecting your YouTube and Google Accounts Matters". YouTube Blog. March 24, 2011. Retrieved on 2011-08-05
- "Gmail Help Section".
- "Google account help page".
- "Google accounts help page".
- "Google account help page".
- Fallows, James. "Hacked". Atlantic Monthly. Archived from the original on 26 December 2011. Retrieved 26 December 2011. "As email, documents, and almost every aspect of our professional and personal lives moves onto the “cloud”—remote servers we rely on to store, guard, and make available all of our data whenever and from wherever we want them, all the time and into eternity—a brush with disaster reminds the author and his wife just how vulnerable those data can be. A trip to the inner fortress of Gmail, where Google developers recovered six years’ worth of hacked and deleted e‑mail, provides specific advice on protecting and backing up data now—and gives a picture both consoling and unsettling of the vulnerabilities we can all expect to face in the future."