Security Alert: Google's New Inactive-Account Policy Could Delete Your Data – Take Action Now

Security Alert: Google's New Inactive-Account Policy Could Delete Your Data – Take Action Now

Google has implemented an updated inactive-account policy, set to commence its phased deletion approach this week. Accounts inactive for over two years face potential erasure, a move attributed to heightened security concerns by Google.

The tech giant emphasizes that such dormant accounts are susceptible to compromise due to outdated passwords, lack of two-factor authentication, and reduced security checks, making them vulnerable to malicious use or identity theft.

To prevent account deletion, users are advised to sign in at least once every two years. Account activity criteria encompass actions like accessing Gmail, scrolling through emails, employing Google search, watching YouTube videos (owned by Google), and maintaining activity in existing subscriptions linked to the Google account. Google also warns of potential deletion of content on Google Photos after two years of inactivity, urging users to regularly access the application to safeguard their images.

Exceptions to the policy include accounts associated with organizations like schools or companies, as well as accounts managing active minor accounts. Accounts holding gift card balances or those utilized for ongoing Google product, app, or subscription purchases are also exempt. Google clarifies that accounts with YouTube videos will not be deleted under this policy.

For users seeking to preserve their data, Google offers tools such as Google Takeout for downloading and exporting account data. The Inactive Account Manager allows users to specify actions if an account becomes inactive, including sending select files to trusted contacts or opting for complete account deletion.

Additionally, Google can collaborate with immediate family to manage the accounts of deceased individuals on a case-by-case basis.

To enhance user communication, Google recommends maintaining and updating a recovery email address, which is crucial for receiving inactive account notices and other communications.

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