Google plans to wipe Gmail accounts and other Google service logins that have gone unused for too long.
Remember that old Gmail account you set up to collect spam long ago? It could get caught in a Google security purge of epic proportions.
Google noted that their users crave safety and security and that accounts unused for long periods are more likely to be compromised.
Google analyzed user accounts, showing that dormant accounts are 10 times less likely to have two-factor authentication than active ones.
Once an intruder takes control of a Google account, they can use it to send spam to the account's contacts and other random internet users. The unwanted user could even perpetrate identity theft on the unaware account owner. Google previously let accounts stay dormant for many years with no activity. Starting later this year, Google may delete your Gmail account and other Google properties, including Docs, Drive, Meet, Calendar, and Google Photos, if your Google Account has not been used or signed into for at least 2 years.
So think long and hard - how long has it been since you've checked on that spam-eater Gmail account? Or looked at your Google Photos? Chances are those old accounts are perilously close to getting the ax. Google clarifies that their new account retention policy only applies to personal Google Accounts and will not affect business or school accounts. The company claims it is bowing to industry standards on account retention and deletion and reducing the amount of time it keeps users' private data on file.
Timeline for the Google purge Google has laid out a series of phased steps, during which users should get plenty of notice before their accounts are wiped clean. The policy officially took effect on May 16, but the first accounts will be deleted in December 2023. Between those times, Google will send warnings to the accounts themselves and their associated recovery email address. If these notices go unheeded, Google will delete the account on the promised date. The first accounts to go will be those created and never actually used, followed by accounts with more regular usage patterns.
How to keep your Google accounts active Users have a few simple options to keep their accounts active and exempt from Google's deactivation sweeps. Log into your dormant Google account and try any of the following steps: Search for anything via Google Search Use the Google Play Store to download a new app Use Google Drive to store or access files Watch a video on YouTube while logged into your account Send or read an email in your Gmail inbox Sign into a third-party service using Sign in with Google