Alert: Google will delete millions of Gmail accounts starting in December, here’s how to protect yours

Gmail
Gmail

Starting in December 2023, Google will begin deleting inactive Gmail accounts that have been inactive for two years in an effort to prevent security threats such as hacks. The announcement was made earlier this year, but the deadline is now only a few weeks away.

Google announced earlier this year that it may remove inactive accounts after two years of no sign-in action. This includes Google Workspace accounts like Gmail, Drive, Docs, Meet, and Calendar, as well as Google Photos and YouTube.

Google indicated in 2020 that it would remove content from inactive accounts but would not delete the accounts themselves. Before deleting inactive accounts, Google will send numerous alerts to the account email address and recovery email address.

Who is in danger?

From December, any Google account that has been inactive for two years or more may have its contents, including those stored in Google Workspace, deleted. The new policy only applies to personal Google Accounts, not those used by organizations such as schools or businesses.

Why is Google removing the Gmail accounts?

Google said in a blog post published in May of this year that inactive accounts are more vulnerable to compromise because they are not actively used or monitored. And many users are more likely to use old or re-used passwords.

“This is because inactive or forgotten accounts often rely on reused or old passwords. They may have been compromised, haven’t had two-factor authentication set up, and receive fewer security checks by the user.

According to our own research, several accounts are at least 10 times less likely than active accounts to have two-step verification enabled.” These accounts can be vulnerable, and once compromised. They can be used for anything from identity theft to a vector for unwanted or malicious content, such as spam.

How to maintain the activity of your account

The company said in a blog post dated May 2023 that the simplest way to keep a Google Account active is to sign in at least once every two years. If you recently signed into your Google Account or any of our services, your account is still active and will not be deleted. Activity may include the following actions performed when you sign in or while signed in to your Google Account.

Here are a few things to do with your Google account to keep it active.

    • Using Google Search
    • Using Google Drive
    • Sign in with your Google account to sign in to a third-party app or service
    • Downloading any app on the Google Play Store
      • Watching a YouTube video
      •  Sending an email

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