In December, Google is set to begin the process of deleting Gmail accounts that have remained unused by their owners for an extended period. Google has made it clear that this action is not sudden and that affected account owners will receive prior notifications and simple instructions to prevent their accounts from being deleted.
Google’s Advance Warning
Google first announced this new policy approximately six months ago, specifying that it would only commence the process in December. It’s important to note that active users of Google services like Gmail, Documents, Calendar, or Photos will not be impacted by this policy. Accounts that have not been used or logged into for at least two years will be subject to deletion, along with the associated data. Google has assured users that several notifications will be sent out several months in advance to both the account’s email address and any backup email address provided.
Security as the Primary Motivation
Google has stated that this measure is being taken primarily for security reasons. Older and inactive accounts are more vulnerable to being targeted by scammers. Google explained that if an account remains unused for an extended period, it is more susceptible to compromise. This is often due to the fact that neglected accounts may have outdated or reused passwords, making them easier targets for potential compromise.
Two-Factor Authentication Importance
According to Google’s own estimates, abandoned accounts are at least ten times less likely to have two-factor authentication enabled compared to active ones. Two-factor authentication significantly enhances security by making it more challenging for potential attackers to access someone else’s account. Google consistently emphasizes the importance of enabling two-factor authentication in its security recommendations, notes NIX Solutions.
By taking prompt action and following the provided instructions, account owners can ensure the protection of their data and accounts in light of Google’s Account Deletion Policy.