By Isobel O’Sullivan from Tech.co
As we approach Google’s December 1st deadline for a massive cleanup of inactive accounts, it’s crucial to take steps to safeguard your data before it’s wiped permanently. In a bid to enhance cybersecurity, Google plans to delete all accounts that have been inactive for two years. This includes Gmail, Docs, Drive, Photos, Calendar, and YouTube accounts. To help you navigate this impending purge, Isobel O’Sullivan provides a detailed guide.
Google’s December 1st Cleanup
Google’s policy update in March outlined the termination of all inactive Google Accounts on December 1st. The primary objective is to mitigate cyberattacks, targeting accounts with outdated or easily compromised passwords. While this initiative is a cybersecurity measure, it poses a risk of losing valuable data for users who don’t take action in time. Importantly, Google Business and School accounts are exempt from this policy.
Protecting Your Google Account
Preserving your Google Account is a straightforward process if you remember your old password. By signing into your account, you classify it as ‘active,’ preventing it from deletion. Google recommends signing in at least once every two years to maintain account status. In case you’ve forgotten your password, Google’s account recovery steps come to the rescue. Successful verification allows you to reset your password for better recall, which can be stored in a secure password manager.
Google suggests various actions to demonstrate account activity, including reading or sending an email, using Google Drive, watching a YouTube video, downloading an app from the Google Play Store, conducting a Google Search, or using ‘Sign in with Google’ for third-party apps. Additionally, existing subscriptions linked to your Google Account count as account activity, ensuring protection from deletion.
Backing Up Your Google Data
For those ready to part ways with their account but wish to preserve important information, backing up Google data is a prudent step. Google provides a comprehensive guide on downloading and archiving account data through its Google Site. Users can choose the desired format for data archiving and understand the fate of detected account information. The Google Takeout service empowers users to select specific account data, whether from email, photos, or OneDrive, and export it to a chosen destination.
As the December 1st deadline looms, taking these steps ensures the preservation of your Google Account and the valuable data it holds. Stay proactive to avoid unintended data loss in this impending cleanup.
For the original article by Isobel O’Sullivan from Tech.co, click here.
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