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Security Alert: Google Policy Update - Inactive Accounts

November 15, 20233 min read

Security Update - Google Inactive Accounts Purge

Starting in December, as part of a major security update, Google will delete millions of inactive Gmail accounts.

While this new policy was announced in May, Google has now begun the process by sending multiple notifications to users whose accounts will be deleted by the purge – which starts on December 1.

Security Alert

Here's what you need to know! 🤔

Which accounts?

Accounts not actively used for at least two years face

What will be lost?

Access to that account inbox and everything stored within it – including photos and videos.

Why now?

Google is updating their inactivity policy for Google Accounts.

The updated policy aligns Google with industry standards for retention and account deletion. Bonus, if you’ve got an inactive account and won’t be bothered to make it active is that this purge also limits the amount of time Google retains your unused personal information.’

Okay, is this really important?

The move is an actual response to security concerns.

When an account is abandoned this often leaves them vulnerable to attack. One, they are less likely to have two-factor authentication enabled and two, old passwords that may be available on the dark web, thanks to a security breach.

Who cares? It’s an abandoned account.

Well, an attacker who gains access to an inactive account can use it to access other accounts or to spread malware especially to your contacts.

Okay, so what is an inactive account?

An account that hasn’t been used in any form within that two-year period according to the new policy.

So that means Google has reserved the right to delete an inactive Google Account and its activity and data if it's been inactive across Google for at least two years.

Are there any exceptions?

Yes, your account may still be saved if it fits any of the following criteria, even if you haven’t logged into Gmail and used any functions:

• Your Google Account has been used to upload YouTube videos
• Your Google Account was used to make a purchase of a Google product, app, service, or subscription that is current or ongoing
• Your Google Account contains a gift card with a monetary balance
• Your Google Account owns a published application or game with ongoing, active subscriptions or active financial transactions associated with them. This might be a Google Account that owns an App on the Google Play store
• Your Google Account manages an active minor account with Family Link
• Your Google Account has been used to purchase a digital item, for example, a book or movie

Logging into your account isn’t enough to save it – you need to use it because activity is demonstrated by account, not device. It doesn’t matter where you generate activity in your account as long as you use it. Don’t forget, if you have more than one account on a single device, you must make sure both are active.


Besides the exceptions, Google also suggests taking one of the following actions:

• Reading or sending an email
• Using Google Drive
• Watching a YouTube video
• Sharing a photo
• Downloading an app
• Using Google Search
• Using Sign in with Google to sign in to a third-party app or service

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Ange "Gos" Payton

The Securista - Online Cybersecurity DefendHer for the Kickass Woman Entrepreneur

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Securista Cybersquad workshops+ CyberSafe Popup Facebook Group

I've got a three series workshop in the works. AND they're totally free. We'll start with the first layer of defense... securing your home. Then we'll tackle how to shield your phone... out in the wild. Finally, learn the favorite techniques and products security experts use to shut down access to those all important social apps.


CyberSecure squad security Coaching and community

I created the CyberSecure Squad Facebook group to bring cutting edge business women up-to-date security info and how to protect against malicious attacks. It's private group of seriously kickass smart entrepreneurs, ready to protect what's theirs. We'll cover AI, Web3, and even blockchain technologies in easy to understand every day language.


Consulting: security strategy and training

We call the vulnerable point of attack an endpoint. We'll start with a security audit and create a strategy of recommended products and services you can tailor to your business needs. Then we'll start building a security culture in your company with bite-sized gamified training on the latest attack trends and how to stop them saves time and money.

If I like you, I'll tell you about the Billion $ heist

Meet Your Securista!

Oh Hello! I’m Angela "Ange Gos" Payton - The Securista. I've reverse-engineered malware and as the tech copywriter, I made tech jargon understandable for everyday people. Retiring from the Security and Response team at Symantec didn't end my cybersecurity life.

My corporate copywriting clients, top competitors of my former company, wanted less technobabble in their marketing info, anchoring and keeping me deep in cybersecurity for years.

So what is a Securista? Like a barista, I help you craft your strongest security against hackers.

Why pivot to cybersecurity, now? I watched a "cybersecurity expert" with zero threat experience provide outdated information... so outdated, I knew I needed to help entrepreneurs, like yesterday because I have a wealth of knowledge and How-To's people need.

So here we are.

I live in a California Wine Country. It's a good Life!

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I haz friends. I've already started inviting experts to come and talk about security trends and what's next. There may even be some history stories about how some threats were found. Group lives in Facebook and an exclusive members-only private podcast firing up the end of June 2023 will inform and entertain.


The categorical list o'things

Apps, Tools, & SaaS Worth Considering

In the member's area, we'll have a dedicated set of lists for apps, tools, & SaaS (both Software as a Service and Security as a Service). We'll cover who's behind them and what they cover.


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Security Isn't Sexy Until It Saves Your Ass

An ounce of prevention... yada, yada. But really, think of how cool it will feel to know the latest social phishing scams and shutting it down. That's where our courses come in. Based on the Categorical Lists O'Security, we break down the how so you can decide if it'll work great for your or keep your $$. We'll also offer courses that will the protection protocols you'll use often.