Google is set to delete millions of Gmail, Drive, and Photo accounts in December as part of a security measure to protect users. The initiative aims to address the vulnerability of inactive accounts, which may rely on outdated or reused passwords and lack two-factor authentication.
Ruth Kricheli, VP of Google’s product management, highlighted in a blog post that these neglected accounts are susceptible to compromise, leading to potential risks such as identity theft or becoming a conduit for malicious content like spam.
The deletion process will focus on Google Accounts inactive for two years, encompassing data within Google Workspace, including Gmail, Docs, Drive, Meet, Calendar, and Google Photos. It’s essential to note that this policy exclusively applies to personal Google Accounts and not organizational accounts for entities such as schools or businesses.
The phased deletion will begin with accounts that were created but never used again. Google plans to notify account holders multiple times through their registered email addresses to provide ample warning.
How to Avoid Deletion?
To ensure an account remains active and escapes deletion, users are advised to sign in at least once every two years. Activities considered as account usage include: reading or sending emails, utilizing Google Drive, watching YouTube videos, downloading apps from the Google Play Store, conducting Google searches, and using the “Sign in with Google” feature for third-party apps or services — Additionally, existing subscriptions linked to the Google Account contribute to maintaining an active status.
This proactive approach encourages account holders to regularly engage with their Google services, reinforcing account security and deterring potential compromises due to prolonged inactivity.