Google To Start Deleting Inactive Accounts From December 2023; Details Here
The company said the move is aimed to protect its users from security threats, like spam, phishing scams and account hijacking.
Tech giant Google on Tuesday announced a change in its inactive account policies and said it will delete accounts that have been inactive for at least two years.
In a blog post, Google said that the move is aimed to protect its users from security threats, like spam, phishing scams and account hijacking.
"Starting later this year, if a Google Account has not been used or signed into for at least 2 years, we may delete the account and its contents – including content within Google Workspace (Gmail, Docs, Drive, Meet, Calendar), YouTube and Google Photos," the blog post said.
The policy only applies to personal Google Accounts, and will not affect accounts for organizations like schools or businesses, the company said.
"While the policy takes effect today, it will not immediately impact users with an inactive account — the earliest we will begin deleting accounts is December 2023," Google said.
Why Will Google Delete Inactive Accounts?
According to Google, the decision to delete inactive accounts is driven by internal analysis revealing that abandoned accounts are significantly more vulnerable compared to active ones. The company highlighted that inactive accounts are at least 10 times less likely to have enabled 2-step verification, rendering them susceptible to compromise. The potential consequences of compromised accounts range from identity theft to serving as a conduit for unwanted or malicious content, such as spam.
Will Users Get To Know About The Accounts That Will Be Deleted?
To ensure users are aware of accounts slated for deletion, Google will adopt a phased approach.
Firstly, Google will target accounts that were created but never subsequently utilized. Prior to deletion, multiple notifications will be sent to both the account email address and the recovery email address (if provided) over the course of several months.
How To Keep Your Google Account Active?
As per Google recommendation, the easiest way to keep an Account active is to sign-in at least once every 2 years.
If a user has signed into their Google Account or any of company's services recently, then their account is considered active and will not be deleted. Here are a few examples:
Reading or sending an email
Using Google Drive
Watching a YouTube video
Downloading an app on the Google Play Store
Using Google Search
Using Sign in with Google to sign in to a third-party app or service
By deleting dormant accounts, the company seeks to reduce the likelihood of unauthorized access and subsequent misuse of personal information. Users are encouraged to remain vigilant and take advantage of security features like 2-step verification to safeguard their accounts from potential threats.