Google Plans to Delete 'Inactive Accounts' Tomorrow: How to Safeguard It

By Consultants Review Team Thursday, 30 November 2023

Google is preparing to begin the deletion of 'inactive accounts' on December 1, 2023. The technology behemoth will begin deleting dormant Google accounts and all associated data, including images, Gmail, contacts, Drive storage, and more.

The critical point is that your account is considered 'inactive' if it has not been used for at least two years. As a result, if you have recently signed in, there is no cause for alarm. Google's Gmail, widely regarded as one of the world's most popular email services, includes features such as AI-generated answers and a robust two-step authentication system.

In May, the internet giant announced a policy shift from deleting only the information of Gmail accounts to now deleting the accounts themselves. This change puts millions of idle Gmail accounts at risk. Understand the ramifications of this cleanse and how to protect your account.

According to Google's new inactive policy, if a Gmail account is dormant for more than two years, Google reserves the right to erase the account and its associated content from Google Workspace. This includes Drive, Meet, Docs, YouTube, and Photos. It should be noted that this policy only applies to individual accounts and does not apply to accounts affiliated with organizations.

Google emphasized in the introduction of this change that their own study shows that dormant accounts are 10 times less likely to have 2FA activated. As a result, such accounts are more exposed to security breaches and leaks. As a result, idle or underused accounts may be targeted by threat actors, resulting in unauthorized access and potential criminal activity.

"Forgotten or unattended accounts frequently rely on old or re-used passwords that may have been compromised, have not had two-factor authentication set up, and receive fewer security checks by the user," stated Ruth Kricheli, VP for Product Management at Google. 

Google recommends signing in at least once every two years to keep your Gmail account operational. It is not essential to specifically check in to Gmail to keep your account status current; any action on a Google-related service will suffice.


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