Google Deletes Millions of Inactive Gmail Accounts Next Month

Google Deletes Millions of Inactive Gmail Accounts Next Month

Tech and Telecom

Google has updated its inactivity policy for accounts to two years, putting millions of Gmail accounts at risk of deletion in the upcoming month. The move aims to deactivate accounts inactive for at least two years. It addresses security concerns linked to forgotten or unattended accounts. The process is part of Google’s efforts to enhance account security.

A Preventive Measure

In a blog post by Google Vice President of Product Management Ruth Kricheli in May, the company highlighted its commitment to reducing security risks associated with inactive accounts. Google’s updated inactivity policy applies across its products, including Gmail, Docs, Drive, Meet, Calendar, and Google Photos. If a Google account remains unused or unopened for at least two years starting in December, it may face deletion, along with its contents.

Security Risks & Account Vulnerability

The blog post emphasized the security risks posed by forgotten accounts, citing the likelihood of outdated or compromised passwords, lack of two-factor authentication, and decreased security checks by users. Abandoned accounts are 10 times less likely than active ones to have two-step verification. This makes them vulnerable to identity theft, spam, and other malicious activities. The lack of security measures increases the risk associated with these neglected accounts.

Who Is Affected?

The inactivity policy applies exclusively to personal Google accounts that have not accessed their Gmail in two years. It does not impact accounts associated with organizations such as schools or businesses.

A Simple Solution

To ensure account preservation, Google recommends signing in at least once every two years. Active account status is maintained through various actions, including reading or sending emails, using Google Drive, watching YouTube videos, downloading apps from the Google Play Store, utilizing Google Search, and signing in to third-party apps or services via Google Sign-in.

Exceptions & Ongoing Account Activity

Accounts with active subscriptions, such as Google One, news publications, or apps, will be considered actively used, safeguarding them from deletion. Additionally, Google currently has no plans to delete accounts linked to YouTube videos, assuring users in that regard.

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