It’s time to use it or lose it: Google has announced they will be deleting any accounts that have been inactive for 2 years as part of their recent security push. The announcement was made in a blog post outlining how they are attempting to protect users by removing accounts that they deem likely to be compromised, in order to prevent phishing scams.
“Our internal analysis shows abandoned accounts are at least 10x less likely than active accounts to have 2-step-verification set up,” wrote Google.
“Meaning, these accounts are often vulnerable, and once an account is compromised, it can be used for anything from identity theft to a vector for unwanted or even malicious content, like spam.”
You have some time if you wish to keep your account, though. Google has said they will update their inactive account maximum time to two years immediately, but will only begin deleting accounts in December 2023, giving people time to react if they wish to keep their old accounts.
The company has also said they will be starting with accounts that were made and then never used again, so there’s nothing to worry about just yet if that doesn't apply to you.
If you wish to keep an account up and running, it’s really quite easy. All you have to do is sign in once every two years, including using any of Google’s services. Using Drive, Gmail, or signing into YouTube with your Google account is all considered “activity”, so keeping accounts active is very little effort.