Google Account Alert: Secure It Now or Risk Deletion!

Article by: Manish Methani

Last Updated: November 14, 2023 at 2:04pm IST
3 min 48 sec read

In a bid to enhance user security, Google has unveiled a new policy aimed at protecting accounts from potential threats. The move comes as part of ongoing efforts to safeguard users against spam, phishing scams, and account hijacking.


Key Points:

  • Technology Investment: Google has invested significantly in cutting-edge technology and tools to shield users from security threats, including spam, phishing scams, and account hijacking.

  • Account Vulnerability: Even with robust protections, accounts left unused for extended periods are more susceptible to compromise. Forgotten or unattended accounts often use old or reused passwords, lack two-factor authentication, and receive fewer security checks.

  • Risk Reduction: To mitigate this risk, Google is updating its inactivity policy for Google Accounts to 2 years across all products.

  • Content Deletion: If a Google Account remains inactive for at least 2 years, starting later this year, Google may delete the account and its contents, including data within Google Workspace and Google Photos.

  • Organizational Exemption: The policy applies solely to personal Google Accounts and will not impact accounts associated with organizations, such as schools or businesses.

  • Industry Alignment: This update aligns Google's policy with industry standards around retention and account deletion, ensuring limited retention of unused personal information.

  • Phased Approach: The implementation will be gradual, starting with accounts created and never used again. Notifications will be sent to account email addresses and recovery emails before deletion.

  • Account Activity: Users can keep their accounts active by signing in at least once every 2 years, engaging in various actions, including reading/sending emails, using Google Drive, watching YouTube videos, downloading from the Play Store, using Google Search, or signing in to third-party apps.

  • Subscription Impact: Existing subscriptions through Google Account, like Google One, news publications, or apps, are considered account activity and will not be affected.

  • YouTube Video Exemption: Accounts with YouTube videos are not slated for deletion at this time.

  • Google Photos Reminder: Users need to sign in to Google Photos specifically every 2 years to maintain activity and avoid content deletion.

  • Recovery Plan: Google encourages users to provide a recovery email at sign-up and offers tools like Takeout and Inactive Account Manager to manage data and create backup options.

  • Account Deletion Options: Users can decide what happens to their account and data through Inactive Account Manager, choosing options like sending specific files to trusted contacts, applying a Gmail autoresponder, or deleting the account entirely.

  • Ongoing Commitment: Google emphasizes that this update is part of its ongoing commitment to advancing account security and ensuring the privacy of user information.

For more details on the policy, users can refer to Google's Help Center.

Note: This phased approach aims to strike a balance between account security and user convenience, providing ample notice and options for users to keep their accounts active and protected.

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