Technology News South Africa

Google to delete inactive accounts from December 2023

In a blog post written by its vice president of product management, Ruth Kricheli, Google announced that it will start deleting inactive personal accounts from December 2023 as part of its updated policy for inactive accounts. Google Accounts that have not been used or signed into for at least two years will be deleted along with its contents - including content within Google Workspace (Gmail, Docs, Drive, Meet, Calendar) and Google Photos.
Source: Unsplash

Google said it will take a phased approach to this, starting with accounts that were created and never used again. It also said it will send multiple notifications over the months leading up to the deletion to both the account email address and the recovery email.

Google explained the reasoning for the updated policy:

"If an account hasn’t been used for an extended period of time, it is more likely to be compromised. This is because forgotten or unattended accounts often rely on old or re-used passwords that may have been compromised, haven't had two-factor authentication set up, and receive fewer security checks by the user.

"Our internal analysis shows abandoned accounts are at least 10x less likely than active accounts to have a two-step verification set up. Meaning, these accounts are often vulnerable, and once an account is compromised, it can be used for anything from identity theft to a vector for unwanted or even malicious content, like spam."

Keeping your Google Account active

Other than signing in every two years, activity on a Google Account includes these types of actions:

  • Reading or sending an email
  • Using Google Drive
  • Watching a YouTube video
  • Downloading an app on the Google Play Store
  • Using Google Search
  • Using Sign in with Google to sign in to a third-party app or service

Let's do Biz