As of December, millions of Gmail accounts will be terminated due to a change in Google policy regarding inactive users.
Gmail will commence deleting accounts that have not been accessed for more than two years in three weeks.
Inactive Services on the Chopping Block
In the absence of recent activity, Google Drive, Docs, Calendar, Meet, and Google Photos accounts will become inactive, and their contents will be deleted.
Multiple notifications will be dispatched to accounts that are nearing deletion in the months preceding their removal.
The change, according to Google, is necessary to reduce the likelihood that criminals will compromise inactive accounts and use them to distribute spam or other malicious content.
Inactive accounts, including free trial accounts, will be culled, as announced in May.
Just log in once every two years to keep the account working if you’re worried about its expiration.
Google says reading an email, watching a YouTube video, or searching can prevent account deactivation.
Users who have images stored on a Google Photos account will be required to access the service independently to prevent the permanent deletion of their photographs.
Personal Gmail accounts used to subscribe to news publications or apps will not be deleted.
The update will not affect corporate or academic accounts, but YouTube content will be maintained.
The change is necessary, according to Ruth Kricheli, vice president of product management, to “protect our users from security threats such as spam, phishing scams, and account hijacking.”
Actively maintained accounts are considerably less likely to have had their information compromised than forgotten or unattended accounts.
This is due to the fact that, according to a Google internal analysis, ancient accounts are ten times less likely to have two-factor authentication enabled and frequently utilise outdated or re-used passwords.
Ms. Kricheli further states, “These accounts are frequently compromised, and once that occurs, they can be exploited for identity theft or as a vector for unwanted or malicious content, such as spam.”
Recent research indicates that compromised Gmail accounts are being traded for as little as £49 ($60) on the black web.
Google advises account holders to create a recovery email to ensure account access.
The Takeout function lets users export and transfer their account data to other platforms, making a complete backup.
Users are also able to determine the fate of their dormant accounts via the Inactive Account Manager.
You can set up an automatic reply system, remove the account, or transmit data to trusted contacts.