If you’ve got an old Google account that’s been gathering dust for a while, it might be time to give it some love—or risk losing it. Google’s about to hit the delete button on these inactive accounts, starting this Friday, following their inactive account policy.
Phased Deletion Process
Google’s not wasting any time. They’re rolling out a phased approach, starting with those accounts that were created and then never touched again. So, if you’ve got one of those lying around, watch out.
Keep it Alive: Just a Sign-In Away
According to Google, it’s pretty simple to keep your account kicking. Just logging in or shooting out an email is enough to keep it active.
Security’s the Main Game
Google’s got a legit reason behind this cleanup—they’re talking about security. Apparently, these forgotten and unused accounts are sitting ducks for getting hacked. That’s a major concern for the tech giant.
What’s at Stake?
Your Google account opens doors to a bunch of Google services—like Gmail and YouTube—all with that same username and password combo. But if your account’s not active, it’s like leaving your front door wide open for potential threats.
Why the Deletion Threat?
Google spilled the beans in a May blog post, saying these old accounts are more vulnerable because they often rely on outdated or reused passwords. Plus, most of them don’t have two-factor authentication set up. That’s like leaving the backdoor unlocked for troublemakers.
After Abuse Comes Trouble
Once these accounts get compromised, it’s a field day for cyber trouble. It can range from identity theft to spreading malicious content and spam.
Saving Your Account
So, what can you do to save your account from the digital graveyard? Well, simply signing in should grant you another two years of life for your Google account. But Google also suggests doing stuff like sending an email through Google Drive or catching a YouTube vid to keep it active.
Key to Survival: Recovery Email Address
Having a recovery email address linked to your account is smart. It helps you reset your password if you ever forget it. Make sure it’s an address you can easily access to get those notifications from Google.
Warnings Sent Out
Google’s not leaving you in the dark. If your account’s at risk of deletion, they’ve already shot you an email warning about it. They’re also flagging that you’ll need to sign in specifically to Google Photos every two years to keep your content safe from deletion. Keep an eye out for these alerts.
Exceptions to the Rule
Don’t stress if your account was set up by your school or workplace. Those accounts are in the clear—they won’t be deleted. Also, if you’ve got a subscription to a Google service or manage your kid’s account using Family Link, those are considered active and won’t face the chopping block.
Stay Active, Stay Safe
Remember, if you’ve signed in recently, you’re in the safe zone. Google counts that as an active account, so no need to fret about losing it.
So, folks, dust off those old Google accounts or risk losing them for good. Sign in, send an email, or watch a YouTube video—just keep it active and keep it safe.