Haven’t used Gmail in two years? You are in trouble

Haven’t used Gmail in two years? You are in trouble
Haven’t used Gmail in two years? You are in trouble

Do you have old Google accounts that you haven’t used in more than two years? You might want to log in and see if anything has changed for them, as Google has announced an update to its policy regarding inactive accounts.

According to the old policy, which was established in 2020 at the same time as the end of the option for unlimited free storage in Google Photos (Google Photos), Google may delete data stored on accounts that haven’t been touched for at least two years, but a blog post written by product manager Ruth Krichli reveals that it’s now possible to delete those accounts entirely.

The new policy will take effect by December of this year at the earliest, so you have time to remember your old login details. According to the website 9to5Google, deleted Gmail addresses will not be available for reuse.

According to Google, account activity is measured by actions such as reading or sending email, using Google Drive, watching a YouTube video, downloading an application in the Google Play store, using Google search or logging in through Google to enter a third-party application or service.

At the same time, these do not cover common use of Google accounts, such as transferring your emails from Gmail (if it is an unused address) to your primary email address, and it is not clear if these accounts will also be closed. Google specifically mentions that a subscription to, for example, Google One (Google One) is one of the ways to keep active, but it’s not something you usually do for an additional account.

When the new policy goes into effect, Krichli says the company will start with accounts that have been created and never been touched again, and will also send several messages in the coming months before deletion to the email address and any other email address designated for the recovery of the account.

Why does Google actually delete inactive accounts?

According to the company, this is a security measure, as inactive accounts, often with old or reused passwords, are more likely to be hacked. In addition, it is 10 times less likely than active accounts, which have two-step verification. Once an account is compromised, it can be used for anything from identity theft to spam or even malicious messages.

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