Google has announced that it will start deleting inactive accounts starting December 1, 2023. An inactive account is one that has not been used to sign in or access Google services for a period of two years. This policy applies to all personal Google accounts, including Gmail, Photos, Docs, and more.
Google is taking this step to reduce the risk of inactive accounts being compromised and used for malicious purposes. Inactive accounts are more likely to be vulnerable to attack because they are less likely to have two-factor authentication enabled.
Google defines an inactive account as one that has not been utilized within a two-year period. This includes accounts that have not been used for sending or receiving emails or accessing other Google services during this timeframe.
The primary motive behind this cleanup is to mitigate security risks associated with inactive accounts. Google notes that abandoned accounts are at least 10 times more likely than active accounts to lack 2-step verification, making them susceptible to potential security threats such as identity theft and malicious activities.
Google assures a gradual implementation of this policy, starting with accounts that were created but never used. Before initiating deletions, multiple notifications will be sent to users, offering them opportunities to prevent their accounts from being deleted.
To ensure the preservation of your Gmail account, it is advised to sign in at least once every two years. This simple action will keep your account active and exempt it from the cleanup process.
Regularly using your Gmail account for sending and receiving emails is crucial. Even occasional interactions, such as watching a YouTube video, using Google Drive, conducting searches, or employing Sign in with Google for third-party apps, contribute to account activity.
The policy applies to all personal Google accounts, including Gmail, Photos, Docs, and more.
Accounts are considered inactive if they have not been used to sign in or access Google services for a period of two years.
Google will send multiple notifications to inactive accounts before deleting them.
The first batch of accounts will be deleted on December 1, 2023.
Google says the policy is necessary to reduce the risk of inactive accounts being compromised and used for malicious purposes.
Inactive accounts are more likely to be vulnerable to attack because they are less likely to have two-factor authentication enabled.
Here are some additional facts:
According to Google, inactive accounts are 10 times more likely to be compromised than active accounts.
Google estimates that there are millions of inactive accounts on its platform.
Google says the policy is consistent with other major tech companies, such as Facebook and Microsoft.
Google says it is committed to giving users control over their data and providing them with tools to manage their accounts.
As Google takes proactive measures to enhance security, users are reminded to stay engaged with their accounts to prevent potential deletions. Simple actions like signing in, sending emails, and using associated services can safeguard your Gmail, Photos, Docs, and more from the upcoming cleanup.