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Google set to delete inactive e-mail accounts, suggests 7 measures to avoid shutdown

*The global technology giant says any Gmail accounts that have been inactive for two years will be eligible for deletion effective from December 1, 2023, but suggests seven things consumers can do to keep their accounts alive

Gbenga Kayode | ConsumerConnect

If you’re sitting on an inactive Gmail or other Google-driven account like Docs or Google Drive, you need to know that the company is getting closer to deleting such accounts, a report has said.

The global technology giant has suggested seven things that consumers can do to keep their accounts alive on the platform.

Any account that has been inactive for two years will be eligible for deletion beginning December 1, 2023, agency report stated.

Given that Google has allowed people to have all the accounts they want, some may have gone overboard and have more than they really need, so the move is a reasonable purge, report said.

ConsumerConnect also  learnt the Big Tech cuts down on the number of accounts Google has to police and protect.

The technology company wrote to account holders with potentially dormant accounts in an e-mail.

Google stated: “Every day Google works hard to keep you and your private information safe and secure by preventing unauthorised access to your Google Account with our built-in security protections.

“And keeping you safe means having strong privacy practices across our products that minimise how long we store your personal files and any data associated with them.

“We want to protect your private information and prevent any unauthorized access to your account even if you’re no longer using our services.”

Implications for a Google account holder

If you have used a Google account in the last two years, you can breathe easy, according to report. If the company has ID’ed an account that it thinks has been mothballed and left unused, it will send several emails to both the Gmail address of the account in question and the user’s main account (the “recovery” email address) just to make sure the user knows what’s on the front burner.

But if that account is deleted, the Gmail address for the deleted account is gone forever and cannot be used again when creating a new Google Account.

How to keep your account active

Meanwhile, the company has reminded inactive account users, that “the simplest way to keep a Google Account active is to sign in to the account at least once every two years.

“If you have signed in to your Google Account recently in the past two years, your account is considered active and will not be deleted.”

Besides, Google stated seven other ways that users can keep any Google accounts alive:

  • Reading or sending an e-mail
  • Using Google Drive
  • Watching a YouTube video
  • Sharing a photo (Google Photos)
  • Downloading a Google app
  • Using Google Search
  • Using sign in with Google to sign in to a third-party app or service

There are some exceptions to this policy, such as a Google Account that has YouTube channels, videos or comments or an account that has a gift card with a monetary balance.

Google’s willing to help

Google’s not going to leave anyone out in the cold and says it’s offering tools to help manage your Google Account and provide options to back up your data, including the ability to download your data using Google Takeout.

It would also be wise to confirm that your recovery e-mail is up to date, report said.

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