Google has given a deadline of less than two weeks to all users of Google Cloud storage services who have not used their accounts in the last two years to use them, otherwise those accounts will be closed from December, PC Mag has reported.
The alert was first issued in May and Google has in recent days taken up email reminders to users with inactive accounts through affected addresses as well as account recovery addresses, indicating that the deletion will begin on December 1.
The move, which the global tech giant says is aimed at improving data management and strengthening security, will see all data found in any Google services including Gmail, Google Docs and Google Drive, which stores audio and visual files such as photos, videos and music.
An inactive Google account is an account that has not been used within two years.
“Google reserves the right to delete inactive Google Accounts and their data if you have not used them on Google for at least two years,” the tech company said in its account policy statement. “Google also reserves the right to delete data in a product if you do not use the product for at least two years.”
According to Google’s vice president of product management Ruth Kricheli, inactive accounts are often more vulnerable to security risks because they typically lack recent security updates such as two-factor authentication, and may have outdated passwords and become easy targets for cyber threats.
“If an account hasn’t been used for a long time, it’s more likely to be compromised. This is because forgotten or neglected accounts often rely on old or reused passwords that may have been compromised, don’t have two-factor authentication set up, and receive less security checks by the user ,” Kricheli was quoted as saying in a blog post.
“Our internal analysis shows that abandoned accounts are 10 times less likely than active accounts to have two-step verification.”
To avoid being caught in the attack, users have been advised to perform basic tasks using their affected accounts to ensure activities before the announced date, including sending emails, downloading apps from the Play Store, watching YouTube videos or even simply logging into account.
In particular, only personal accounts are targeted in the deletion step, while institutional or business-related addresses are preserved. Google has confirmed that once implemented, the deletion process is irreversible.