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Google Plans To Remove ‘Inactive’ Accounts Starting December: What You Need To Know

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(CTN News) – In a bid to enhance security measures, Google has recently implemented modifications to its inactive account policy, set to come into effect this week.

If you possess a Google account that has remained dormant for at least two years, it’s imperative to sign in before the deadline to prevent the potential loss of your account and its associated data.

This proactive approach is in response to security concerns, as GOOGL emphasizes the vulnerability of long-forgotten accounts to unauthorized access and misuse.

Why is Google Removing Inactive Accounts?

GOOGL’s decision to remove inactive accounts stems from security considerations. Dormant accounts are more susceptible to compromise due to outdated passwords, the absence of two-factor authentication, and infrequent security checks.

Such accounts could be exploited to disseminate spam, propagate malicious content, or even facilitate identity theft. Regularly signing in – at least once every two years – is the simplest way to keep an account active and shield it from termination.

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Apart from sign-ins, other activities such as sending or browsing through emails, utilizing Google search, and watching YouTube videos (while signed into your account) contribute to fulfilling the account activity criteria.

Furthermore, maintaining subscriptions and profiles for third-party apps and publications linked to your account helps ensure continuous activity monitoring.

Notably, Google Photos also follows a similar inactive account policy, with photo content facing potential deletion after two years of inactivity. Users are encouraged to access the app regularly to safeguard their precious memories.

 

Are There Exceptions to This Policy?

The inactive account policy applies exclusively to personal accounts that have been inactive for the past two years. Accounts created for organizations, such as schools or businesses, remain unaffected.

Additionally, accounts managing active minor accounts, holding gift card balances, or those used for ongoing transactions, apps, or subscriptions are exempt from this policy.

GOOGL  has clarified that accounts with YouTube content will not be deactivated, providing reassurance to content creators.

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Can You Save Your Google Account Data?

In addition to maintaining account activity, Google offers tools to assist users in managing and backing up their data. Google Takeout allows users to download and export account data outside of the Google ecosystem.

The Inactive Account Manager is another useful tool, allowing users to decide the fate of their account and data in case of inactivity. Users can choose to distribute specific files to trusted contacts or opt to deactivate the account entirely.

GOOGL  also provides provisions for addressing accounts of deceased individuals on a case-by-case basis. Immediate family members can work with the company to close the account and access specific content, all without requiring login credentials.

To enhance account recovery and communication, Google recommends users provide and update a recovery email address associated with their account. This address is used for sending inactive account alerts and other important information.

In conclusion, staying informed about Google’s updated policies and taking proactive measures to maintain account activity is crucial to safeguarding your Google account and the data associated with it.

Regular sign-ins, coupled with the use of available tools for data management and backup, ensure a secure and uninterrupted user experience.

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