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Thousands of Gmail accounts to be deleted

(FILES) This file photo taken on October 21, 2020 in Lille shows the logo of the multinational American Internet technology and services company, Google (C). - A massive outage knocked Google services including Gmail and video sharing platform YouTube offline across much of the globe. (Photo by DENIS CHARLET / AFP)
(FILES) This file photo taken on October 21, 2020 in Lille shows the logo of the multinational American Internet technology and services company, Google (C). - A massive outage knocked Google services including Gmail and video sharing platform YouTube offline across much of the globe. (Photo by DENIS CHARLET / AFP)

Tech giant Google is set to scrap thousands of accounts using its email service, Gmail.

In a blog post from Google’s vice president of product management Ruth Kricheli on Tuesday, it was confirmed accounts which have been inactive for two years or more will be in the company’s crosshairs.

“Starting later this year, if a Google Account has not been used or signed into for at least 2 years, we may delete the account and its contents,” said Ms Kricheli, “including content within Google Workspace (Gmail, Docs, Drive, Meet, Calendar) and Google Photos.

“The policy only applies to personal Google Accounts, and will not affect accounts for organizations like schools or businesses.”

Google is going to delete Gmail accounts that have been inactive for two years. Picture: Denis Charlet / AFP.
Google is going to delete Gmail accounts that have been inactive for two years. Picture: Denis Charlet / AFP.

The policy update is designed at improving user online security, with old, inactive accounts 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,” writes Ms Kricheli.

“Our internal analysis shows abandoned accounts are at least 10x less likely than active accounts to have 2-step-verification set-up.

“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.”

Accounts will start being deleted from December, with those in danger set to receive multiple messages from the company before any deletion happens. Picture: Noah Berger / AFP.
Accounts will start being deleted from December, with those in danger set to receive multiple messages from the company before any deletion happens. Picture: Noah Berger / AFP.

The earliest Goole will begin deleting accounts is December, in what Ms Kricheli described as “slowly and carefully, with plenty of notice.”

Anyone having their accounts deleted will receive multiple messages before any action is taken.

The entire blog post can be found here.