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    Inactivity Policy: Google to Purge Millions of Gmail, Drive, and Photos Accounts Next Month

    Google is about to embark on a sweeping cleanup, initiating the deletion of millions of Gmail, Drive, and Photos accounts next month. This imminent purge not only underscores a commitment to user data management but also raises the crucial question: IS YOUR ACCOUNT ACTIVE?

    In an effort to enhance user security, Google has announced a significant update to its inactivity policy for Google Accounts. The tech giant is set to delete accounts and their contents, including data within Google Workspace (Gmail, Docs, Drive, Meet, Calendar), and Google Photos, if they remain inactive for a period of 2 years. This move comes as a response to the increased vulnerability of unused accounts, which are often targeted for identity theft or exploited for malicious activities such as spam.

    As revealed in a blog post earlier this year by Ruth Kricheli, the Vice President overseeing Google’s product management, it was disclosed that abandoned accounts are at least 10 times less likely to have two-step verification set up compared to active accounts.

    The lack of regular user engagement exposes these accounts to various security threats, prompting Google to align its policy with industry standards around retention and account deletion.

    The updated policy will start to impact users in December 2023. However, Google assures a phased approach, beginning with accounts that were created but never used again.

    To prevent account deletion, users are advised to sign in at least once every 2 years, engaging in activities such as reading or sending emails, using Google Drive, watching YouTube videos, downloading apps from the Play Store, or performing searches.

    To further mitigate risks, Google will send multiple notifications to the account email address and recovery email (if provided) before initiating deletion. Additionally, subscriptions set up through Google Accounts, such as Google One or news publications, will be considered account activity and exempt from deletion.

    Clarifying the scope of the update, this assures users that the policy only applies to personal Google Accounts, excluding organizational ones like schools or businesses. This section aims to allay concerns and provide a clear understanding of the update’s target audience.

    The update addresses concerns about Google Photos and accounts with YouTube videos, offering additional clarity on how this announcement affects them.

    Notably, there are no plans to delete accounts with YouTube videos, while Google Photos require specific sign-ins every 2 years to maintain their active status. This guarantees the preservation of your photos and other content, preventing any deletions.

    Users concerned about potential deletions are advised to provide a recovery email at sign-up. Additionally, Google offers free tools such as the Takeout feature for data export and the Inactive Account Manager, which allows users to decide the fate of their account and data during extended periods of inactivity.

    Google emphasizes transparent communication by sending multiple notifications before initiating any account deletion. This proactive approach ensures that users are well-informed about the status of their accounts and provides an opportunity to take necessary actions.

    The inactivity policy update is part of Google’s ongoing efforts to advance account security. By adapting to evolving threats and industry standards, Google aims to reinforce its commitment to keeping user information private and secure.

    This news comes directly from Google’s official blog, ensuring the authenticity of the information. Google’s commitment to transparency is reflected in the detailed explanation of the policy update, addressing potential concerns and providing users with a clear understanding of the changes.

    What happens if I don’t sign in for two years?

    Google will send multiple notifications before considering deletion. Signing in at least once every two years keeps your account active.

    Does this policy apply to organizational Google Accounts?

    No, the policy only affects personal Google Accounts, not those associated with schools or businesses.

    Can I backup my data before my account becomes inactive?

    Yes, Google provides free tools like Takeout and Inactive Account Manager for users to manage and backup their data.

    What about accounts with YouTube videos?

    At present, there are no plans to delete accounts with YouTube videos. The update focuses on personal Google Accounts.

    How does this update enhance my account security?

    The two-year inactivity policy aims to reduce the risk of compromised accounts, aligning with industry standards and reinforcing Google’s commitment to user security.

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    Mr. Blessing O.
    Mr. Blessing O.https://whirotechdigitalsolutions.co
    Passionate full-time digital entrepreneur with a rich background spanning 6 years in web development and safety practitioner. I share valuable tips here in my blog the legit way to earn money online, best AI tools, webhosting hacks, relationship tips and web stories around the world.

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