Google’s updated policy allows for the deletion of inactive Gmail accounts and their associated content after two years of inactivity. This puts dormant accounts at risk of security breaches and unauthorized access, as they are less likely to have two-factor authentication configured.
Google plans to initiate a mass removal process, deleting numerous inactive Gmail accounts. Renowned as one of the world’s most widely used email services, Google’s Gmail boasts features like AI-generated responses and a robust two-step verification system.
The tech giant, in May, revealed a policy shift from solely erasing the content of Gmail accounts to now including the deletion of the accounts themselves. This alteration places millions of dormant Gmail accounts in jeopardy. Understand the implications of this purge and learn how to safeguard your account.
Google’s updated inactive policy for Gmail Account
Google’s updated inactive policy specifies that if a Gmail account remains unused for more than two years, Google reserves the right to delete the account and its associated content within Google Workspace. This encompasses Drive, Meet, Docs, as well as YouTube and Photos. It is important to note that this policy is applicable solely to individual accounts and does not extend to accounts associated with organizations.
In the announcement of this update, Google emphasized that their internal analysis indicates inactive accounts are 10 times less likely to have 2FA configured. This makes such accounts more vulnerable to potential security breaches and leaks. Consequently, inactive or unused accounts could be targeted by threat actors, leading to unauthorized access and potential misuse for malicious activities.
Ruth Kricheli, VP for Product Management, Google, said, “Forgotten or unattended accounts often rely on old or re-used passwords that may have been compromised, have not had two-factor authentication set up, and receive fewer security checks by the user.”
To prevent your Gmail account from becoming inactive, Google advises logging in at least once every two years. It’s not necessary to specifically sign in to Gmail; any activity on a Google-related service will suffice to keep your account status active.
Meanwhile, Google is extending the availability of its Car crash detection feature on Pixel phones to additional countries, which now includes India. Google has included India and four other countries in the list of supported regions for this feature. The Car crash detection feature was initially introduced on Pixel phones in the US in 2019.