Google is set to implement a cybersecurity initiative on December 1, targeting inactive Gmail accounts that have not been accessed for two years. This includes Google Workspace apps like Drive, Docs, and Photos associated with these accounts.
Furthermore, the move is driven by security concerns, as older accounts can be vulnerable to hacks due to outdated or reused passwords, lack of two-factor authentication, and fewer security checks. The updated policy applies to personal accounts, with notifications sent to dormant accounts, especially those created but never used.
Google’s Product Management Vice President, Ruth Kricheli, emphasizes the company’s commitment to user security, having invested in technology and tools to protect against security threats like spam, phishing scams, and account hijacking. The policy exempts school or business accounts, and users are encouraged to sign in at least once every two years to keep their accounts active.
Actions such as reading or sending emails, using Google Drive, watching YouTube videos, downloading apps, signing in to third-party services, or using Google Search count as activity and prevent account deletion.
To address concerns, Kricheli provides guidance, stating that signing into Google Photos separately is necessary to preserve images. Existing subscriptions through Google Accounts, such as Google One, news publications, or apps, are considered account activity and immune to deletion.
Notably, Google does not currently have plans to delete accounts with YouTube videos. This initiative reflects ongoing efforts by major tech companies to enhance cybersecurity and protect users from various online threats.