Attention Google account holders: If you possess an older account, be mindful that time is running out.

Google
Google

Starting from December 1, Google will purge inactive accounts, including all associated content like photos, calendar entries, emails, contacts, and Drive documents, in accordance with the company’s revised account policy.

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This comprehensive article aims to prevent users from potential security threats such as spam, phishing scams, and account hijacking, as stated by the company.

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Here’s a complete guide on how to ensure the activity of your account and safeguard your data before initiation of deletion of inactive accounts on the upcoming Friday.

Wondering why the company is taking this step?

The tech giant is purging inactive accounts because it deems them “more likely to be compromised.” The company’s internal data reveals that neglected accounts often utilize outdated or reused passwords, undergo fewer security checks, and are 10 times more likely to lack two-factor authentication.

In the event of an account compromise, it can be misused for various activities, ranging from identity theft to the dissemination of unwanted or malicious content such as spam, as per their statement from last May.

When is this deletion happening?

The company will commence terminating inactive accounts on December 1, 2023, as indicated in the company’s notice regarding the updated policy. The elimination process will kick off with accounts that were created but never revisited by users.

Which accounts are subject to deletion?

According to the new policy, the company may delete an account and its contents, including Workspace components (Gmail, Docs, Drive, Meet, Calendar) and Google Photos, if it has not been used or signed into for at least 2 years.

It’s important to note that this policy exclusively applies to personal mail accounts and does not impact school or business-managed accounts.

Additionally, the company will exempt accounts with uploaded YouTube videos or active subscriptions to apps or news services from removal, as per the updated account policy.

Users affected by this action will receive “multiple notifications” before their accounts are terminated, assures the company in a statement.

How can I prevent my account from being deleted?

To ensure the continued existence of your Google account, log in and utilize any of the company’s tools such as Gmail, Google Drive, Google Photos, and Google Play.

Here is a compilation of actions that will indicate to Google that your account is active, in accordance with the company’s account policy:

1. Reading or sending an email
2. Utilizing the company’s Drive
3. Watching a YouTube video
4. Downloading an app from the company’s Play store
5. Employing Google Search
6. Using “Sign in with Google” to access a third-party app or service

Wondering how to safeguard your data?

For users who wish to download or back up their data before allowing their old accounts to expire, you can visit their site for support.

The site provides instructions on using Google Takeout, a service that enables you to save your data. With this Takeout, you can choose to download all your data or select specific services like email or photos.

Additionally, you have the option to download the data to alternative services such as Dropbox or Microsoft OneDrive.

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