Major Clean-Up Looms, As Google Warns Dormant G-mail Account Owners
Tech giant, Google has given a three-week warning to dormant e-mail account users about a major clean-up exercise on the platform taking place this December. This could lead to the closure of millions of G-mail accounts, with owners losing valuable documents, photos and videos permanently.
According to the company, the clean-up exercise will impact all personal Google account that has been left dormant for at least two years.
Google also said that the policy had been introduced earlier this year but it will come into effect in December 2023.
Google’s Vice President of Product Management, Ruth Kricheli, had written in a blog post earlier in May 2023, “We are updating our inactivity policy for Google Accounts to two years across our products. 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.”
The company explained that it is taking this step to protect active Google users from security threats such as phishing scams and account hijacking. Stating that the old G-mail accounts that have not been used for several years typically stand the risk of being hacked.
It said this is because they may use the same passwords that have been compromised in other security breaches, which could be easily found on the dark web. Any account at risk of deletion will receive multiple notifications before any action is taken.
The tech giant said it has already begun sending emails to those affected, telling users it is to protect your private information and prevent any unauthorised access to your account even if you’re no longer using our services.
To keep an account active and avoid being deleted, Google users are advised to open or send an email, use Google Drive, download an app on the Google Play Store, or simply make a Google Search while logged in to the account.
Google, however, said that any G-mail account that has posted a video to YouTube does not stand the risk of being deleted regardless of when it was last active.