GOOGLE has renewed efforts to warns Gmail users that accounts may be permanently deleted if they haven’t accessed them in a while.
This not only includes Gmail, but Google Photos, Google Drive and even YouTube.
The tech giant confirmed late last year that it would be purging old accounts to clear out space and keep the platform safer.
“If a Google Account has not been used or signed into for at least two years, we may delete the account and its contents – including content within Google Workspace (Gmail, Docs, Drive, Meet, Calendar) and Google Photos,” Google confirmed in a blog post at the time.
Google has issued deletion alerts to the accounts that are at risk of being culled.
However, reports suggest that accounts that haven’t been used in under two years are now also being targeted.
Several Google users and Forbes journalist Dave Winder has revealed how his account was targeted after just eight months of not being used.
In the message, Google told Winder, “You’re receiving this message because your account Goggle Account has not been used in at least 8 months.
“If you want to keep your Google Account, sign in before September 20, 2024, Google will delete your Google Account and its activity data.”
Winder received the message warning of a September 2024 shut-off in January of this year.
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By Google’s math, users risk losing their accounts after just 16 months of inactivity, instead of the 24 months, or two years.
How do I protect my account from deletion?
All you need to do to stop your account from being deleted is to interact with it – be it by opening an email or watching a YouTube clip.
Whichever way, you should find it be pretty easy to save your account, if you actually need it.
Why is Google deleting accounts?
Google has been trying to clear unnecessary accounts from its system since May 2023 – but why?
Well, old, little-used accounts can be havens for hackers and phishing campaigns, as the user or Google can’t stop any unauthorised access if it goes unnoticed.
They also mean Google stores unnecessary data in its servers, which in turn, costs more money and energy.
In a blog post published last summer, Google’s Ruth Kricheli, explains: “People want the products and services they use online to be safe and secure.
“If an account hasn’t been used for an extended period of time, it is more likely to be compromised.
“This is because forgotten or unattended accounts often rely on old or re-used passwords that may have been compromised, haven’t had two factor authentication set up, and receive fewer security checks by the user.”