Google announced that it will begin deleting accounts that have been inactive for two years or more, in an effort to protect user security. The policy takes effect immediately, and Google said it will begin phasing out inactive accounts from December.
The decision was taken after Google found that older accounts are more likely to use recycled passwords and less likely to employ up-to-date security measures such as two-step verification. These accounts are therefore more vulnerable to hacking and spam.
Google will send several warning notifications to users before deleting their accounts. However, the policy only affects personal accounts, leaving organizations such as schools and businesses untouched.
In order to protect accounts from deletion, users must simply access their Gmail account or any other Google service and perform any activity, such as reading an email, watching a video, or performing a search.
Google’s new policy is a step further than a previous policy set in 2020. At that time, Google said it would remove content from users who didn’t use its services, but the accounts themselves wouldn’t disappear.
The new policy is a move forward for Google as it seeks to ensure that its users remain secure while using its services. By deleting inactive accounts, Google hopes to reduce the risk of security breaches and cyberattacks.