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Wednesday, April 24 2024
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Secure Your Gmail: Google’s December 1 Cleanup Sparks Account Protection

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Google updated its regulations regarding inactive accounts earlier this year. Google announced that it will deactivate accounts that haven’t been used or logged in for at least two years under the new policy. This choice is a result of Google’s continuous efforts to safeguard user security and lower the dangers connected to keeping dormant accounts.

Google stated that their new dormant account policy will take effect on December 1, 2023, in a blog post dated May 2023. All files from Gmail, Docs, Drive, Meet, Calendar, YouTube, and Google Photos will be removed from dormant accounts. Google announced in 2020 that it would only remove content from dormant accounts—not the accounts themselves—but that policy has since changed significantly. This is seen in Google’s new inactive account policy.

But why Google deleting the Gmail accounts

Google is eliminating dormant accounts in order to shield consumers from online security risks. According to the business, accounts that are not actively utilized or monitored are more vulnerable to hacking since users are more likely to use outdated or frequently used passwords. “Even with these protections (security tools offered by Google), if an account hasn’t been used for an extended period, it is more likely to be compromised,” Google writes in a blog post.

Google’s internal analysis indicates that inactive accounts are 10 times less likely than active accounts to have two-factor authentication enabled, rendering them easy targets for hackers. This vulnerability arises because forgotten or neglected accounts frequently rely on old or reused passwords that may have been compromised. These accounts often lack two-factor authentication setup and receive fewer security checks from the user. This situation can lead to cybercrimes such as identity theft and may even transform these abandoned accounts into tools for more malicious activities.

How to protect your account

You should be aware that the new policy only applies to personal Google Accounts—not accounts linked to corporations or organizations like schools—in order to protect your account from being deleted. The change will take effect in December 2023, but since it only affects inactive accounts, users who are actively using Gmail, Docs, Calendar, and Photos shouldn’t be concerned. Furthermore, prior to the deletion of any accounts, Google would repeatedly notify the account email address and recovery email (if applicable) over a period of several months. This indicates Google’s dedication to safeguarding the security and privacy of its large user base.

It’s a good idea to take action to keep your Google Account active if it hasn’t been used in a while. You can either log in or follow the steps in the Google email to reactivate a dormant Google Account. Additionally, Google has enumerated some actions you can take to maintain the activity of your account, including sending or receiving emails, utilizing Google Drive, viewing YouTube videos, downloading apps from the Google Play Store, conducting Google searches, and selecting ‘Sign in with Google’ when interacting with third-party apps or services.

Also, Google will consider active subscriptions linked to a Google Account, such as Google One, a news publication, or an app, as account activity, preventing such accounts from being deleted.

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