Google to start deleting inactive accounts this week
CNN – Google will be implementing its plan to delete accounts that have been inactive for at least two years starting this Friday, December 1. The company announced this new policy in May, citing security risks as the main reason for the move. Internal findings show that older accounts are more vulnerable to issues like phishing, hacking, and spam due to a lack of updated security measures.
Google has been sending warnings to affected users since August, with multiple alerts sent to affected accounts and backup emails provided by users. Google explained in May that the first accounts to be deleted will be those that the user has created and never visited again. The company stressed the importance of protecting private information and preventing unauthorized access to accounts, even if the user no longer uses their services.
The deletion of accounts will encompass everything from Gmail to Docs to Drive to Photos, meaning all content in an inactive user’s suite of Google services is at risk of being deleted. However, there are some exceptions to this measure, such as accounts with YouTube channels, those with remaining balance on gift cards, and those used to purchase digital items.
Oren Koren, CPO and co-founder of cybersecurity company Veriti, explained that deleting old accounts is a key step in ensuring security. According to Koren, old accounts are considered low risk and can be an entrance for malicious actors. By proactively removing these accounts, Google reduces the attack surface available to cybercriminals and strengthens overall digital security landscapes.
To save an account from deletion, users simply need to sign in to their Google account or any Google service at least once every two years. This can be as simple as reading an email, watching a video, or performing a single search, among other activities.