Under this updated policy, Google will take measures to delete accounts that have remained unused or unaccessed for a minimum of two years. The decision aligns with Google’s ongoing initiative to mitigate security risks associated with maintaining inactive accounts and safeguarding user data.
All content within inactive accounts, encompassing Gmail, Docs, Drive, Meet, Calendar, YouTube, and Google Photos, is slated for deletion under this revised policy. This move is a notable shift from the prior stance that only targeted the removal of content while leaving the accounts intact.
In justifying this stringent approach, Google asserts that inactive accounts pose a heightened security risk. Such accounts are deemed more susceptible to compromise due to the lack of active use or monitoring, making users more prone to utilizing outdated or recycled passwords. Google underscores that despite security tools in place, the extended dormancy of an account increases its vulnerability.
An internal analysis by Google reveals that inactive accounts are ten times less likely to have two-factor authentication enabled compared to active accounts. This makes them attractive targets for cyber threats, as forgotten or neglected accounts are often protected by outdated or reused passwords, lacking the additional security layer of two-factor authentication.
To address this vulnerability and protect users from potential security threats, Google emphasizes the importance of maintaining an active account status. The new policy applies exclusively to personal Google Accounts and exempts accounts associated with organizations, such as schools or businesses.
Active users of Gmail, Docs, Calendar, and Photos need not be concerned, as the policy specifically targets inactive accounts. Furthermore, Google is committed to notifying users before initiating any deletions, sending multiple notifications to the account email address and recovery email over several months.
Here’s What You Can Do :google
For users seeking to prevent their Google Accounts from being deleted, Google recommends taking proactive steps to ensure account activity. Reactivating an inactive account can be accomplished by logging in or following the instructions provided in emails from Google. Google also provides a list of specific actions to maintain account activity, including reading or sending emails, using Google Drive, watching YouTube videos, downloading apps from the Google Play Store, conducting searches, or utilizing ‘Sign in with Google’ for third-party apps or services.
It’s noteworthy that Google will recognize active subscriptions linked to a Google Account, such as Google One, news publications, or apps, as valid account activity, thereby exempting them from deletion under the new policy. This comprehensive approach underscores Google’s dedication to protecting the privacy and security of its extensive user base.