Google recently announced updates to its inactive account policies, signaling a shift in its approach to account management.
Starting from December 1, 2023, Google will implement its new policy, which involves the deletion of accounts that have been inactive or not signed into for at least two years.
This move is part of Google’s ongoing commitment to user security and minimizing the risks associated with maintaining unused accounts.
Under this policy, all content in inactive accounts, including Gmail, Docs, Drive, Meet, Calendar, YouTube, and Google Photos, will be permanently deleted.
his marks a departure from Google’s previous stance in 2020, where it only removed content from inactive accounts without deleting the accounts themselves.
Why Google is Deleting Gmail Accounts:
Google’s primary motive behind deleting inactive accounts is to enhance user security.
The company argues that inactive accounts are more vulnerable to security threats because they are not actively monitored or in use.
Users of inactive accounts are more likely to have outdated or reused passwords, making them potential targets for compromise.
Google’s internal analysis revealed that inactive accounts are 10 times less likely than active accounts to have two-factor authentication enabled.
This lack of additional security measures makes inactive accounts attractive targets for hackers.
Old or reused passwords, often associated with forgotten or neglected accounts, pose a significant risk and can lead to cybercrimes like identity theft.
It’s crucial to note that this new policy applies only to personal Google Accounts, not accounts associated with organizations such as schools or businesses.
Active users of Gmail, Docs, Calendar, and Photos need not worry, as the policy specifically targets inactive accounts.
Google will send multiple notifications to the account email address and recovery email (if provided) before deleting any accounts, emphasizing its commitment to user privacy and security.
How to Keep Your Account Active:
If your Google Account has been inactive, taking action is essential to prevent deletion.
You can reactivate your account by logging in or following the instructions in the email from Google.
Engaging in various activities like reading or sending emails, using Google Drive, watching YouTube videos, downloading apps from the Google Play Store, searching on Google, or using ‘Sign in with Google’ for third-party apps or services will contribute to keeping your account active.
Google will also consider active subscriptions linked to a Google Account, such as Google One, news publications, or apps, as account activity, exempting them from deletion.
The new policy aims to strike a balance between security measures and user convenience while safeguarding the privacy of Google’s extensive user base.