Google has announced to their users that it will be deleting millions of Google accounts in December as part of a major update.
Emails, pictures, calendars, videos, and documents associated with all personal accounts that have not been used for two years will be permanently erased.
In an effort to shield customers from security risks including spam, phishing scams, and account theft, the policy was implemented earlier this year.
Ruth Kricheli, Google’s vice president of product management, said: “Our internal analysis shows abandoned accounts are at least 10x less likely than active accounts to have 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.
“To reduce this risk, we are updating our inactivity policy for Google Accounts to two years across our products.
“Starting later this year, if a Google account has not been used or signed into for at least two years, we may delete the account and its contents, including content within Google Workspace (Gmail, Docs, Drive, Meet, Calendar) and Google Photos.
“This update aligns our policy with industry standards around retention and account deletion and also limits the amount of time Google retains your unused personal information.”
How to keep your Google account
Kricheli mentions that the easiest way of keeping the account active is by signing-in once every two years.
However, if you have signed into your Google Account or any of its services recently, your account is considered active.
Your account will be considered active if you have recently used it for anything other than signing in or reading emails, using Google Drive, watching YouTube videos, downloading apps from the Google Play Store, using Google Search, or signing in to third-party apps or services by selecting ‘Sign in with Google.’
“If you have an existing subscription set up through your account, for example to Google One, a news publication, or an app, we also consider this account activity, and your account will not be impacted.
“Additionally, we do not have plans to delete accounts with YouTube videos at this time,” added Kricheli.