By: Nick Gambino
Google is looking to drop some deadweight in the near future. The tech giant will start deleting any unused or inactive accounts that have been dormant for two years or longer.
The main reason the company is looking to clean house is because of security concerns. They claim that old accounts that have been largely ignored are more easily compromised and susceptible to hacking. Without two-step verification and also the likely use of old already-compromised passwords they are left open to attack.
“To reduce this risk, we are updating our inactivity policy for Google Accounts to 2 years across our products,” VP of Product Management, Ruth Kricheli, said in a blog post. “Starting later this year, if a Google Account has not been used or signed into for at least 2 years, we may delete the account and its contents – including content within Google Workspace (Gmail, Docs, Drive, Meet, Calendar) and Google Photos.”
That means you can easily save your Google Account from the garbage compactor by simply signing in and forgetting about it again for another 2 years. While security is definitely a concern, getting rid of unnecessary clutter has to be part of this decision. Consider it digital spring cleaning.
Now, this new inactive account policy is only for personal accounts. This does not apply to organization accounts, so no need to worry about that.
While the policy is in effect immediately they won’t start enforcing it and deleting accounts until December 2023. And that’s the earliest they’ll begin the ominous purge. It might even be pushed to later in 2024. And even then they’re going to start with Google Accounts that were abandoned right after being created.
If you’re worried this might affect you, I suggest logging into your Google Account now and buying yourself 2 years. You can also set an alarm for December if you’re of the procrastinating variety. And if you’re really bad at this, Google will send you numerous notifications before they delete your account.