Google to commence inactive accounts' deletion this Friday

Log in to your Google account or any Google service at least once every two years to protect your account from being deleted
A representational image shows an illustration of Google. — Unsplash
A representational image shows an illustration of Google. — Unsplash

Keeping up with what it vowed to past week, Google has announced to commence this Friday the deletion of inactive accounts that have been inactive for at least two years.

The major search engine company has been issuing alerts to users who are affected since August, sending numerous warnings to both impacted accounts and the backup emails provided by users.

As it disclosed in May, Google has highlighted a process of account termination which would start with accounts that were created but haven't been revisited by the user, CNN reported.

Internal investigations by Google indicate that older accounts are more prone to using recycled passwords and are less likely to implement modern security measures such as two-step verification, making them more susceptible to problems like phishing, hacking, and spam.

“We want to protect your private information and prevent any unauthorized access to your account even if you’re no longer using our services,” Google wrote in an August policy update.

Google accounts include everything from Gmail to Docs to Drive to Photos, meaning all content sitting across an inactive user’s Google suite is at risk of erasure.

According to what Google declared back in August, among the accounts that would be exempted from deletion are those associated with YouTube channels, those with remaining balances on gift cards, those utilised for purchasing digital items like books or movies, and those with active published apps on platforms such as the Google Play store.

According to Oren Koren, Chief Product Officer and Co-founder of the cybersecurity firm Veriti, deleting old accounts is a crucial measure for enhancing security. He emphasises that old accounts are often considered low risk, making them potential vulnerabilities for malicious actors.

The removal of old accounts might compel hackers to create new accounts, a process now requiring phone number verification. Moreover, this deletion would also target outdated data that may have been compromised in a previous data breach.

Here’s how to protect your Google account from being deleted

To protect your account from being deleted, log in to your Google account or any Google service at least once every two years.

In addition to that, engaging in activities such as reading an email, watching a video, or conducting a single search can also contribute to maintaining the account.