Google is preparing to remove thousands of Gmail accounts in an effort to improve security, according to a report by The Daily Mail. The criteria for which accounts will be targeted are those that have remained inactive or gone without security checks for two years, and those who are using compromised passwords.
The announcement comes as the company is looking to come down on hacking and scam schemes. It is recommended that active users set up two-factor verification if they want to keep their account. According to a blog post, it is suspected that inactive accounts have already been compromised, despite Google reportedly investing in tools to tackle issues like scams, phishing, and account hijacking.
The move is expected to take effect in December 2023, so users will still have time to save their accounts if they are worried they might be on the roster for deletion. However, Google is not the only platform that is gearing up to remove accounts. Twitter has recently announced a similar protocol.
Users have been critical of Elon Musk’s measure because many are arguing that their final conversations with loved ones will be gone forever. Users have shared their experiences on the platform saying that they hold on to their loved ones messages as a way to remember them, with one saying that his childhood best friend’s account is already gone and that “it feels like I’m losing him all over again.”
The goal of each platform is different. While Google claims that it wants to improve security, Musk is saying that removing accounts will free up handles. He also said that people should expect a drop in followers as a result.
Removal of Gmail accounts suggests that old photos on Drive, content on Documents, and the Calendar will be removed as well. YouTube videos are also expected to be impacted as many accounts are linked to Google.