Could you find your Google accounts suddenly deleted?

Our latest blog post serves as a bit of a warning to all you out there with Google related or orientated accounts. Google have recently changed their terms and conditions in many of their products, meaning they have the power to delete your accounts for the likes of Gmail, photo accounts and Google Drive (and it’s also worth remembering that similar rules apply to WhatsApp too.)

A change in terms occurred at the start of June, meaning that this prospect is now live and real. Generally speaking, many people will not have to worry about this change because it only relates to accounts that have not been used for 2 years. You may therefore be wondering what all the fuss is about? We know that for the likes of some Google products (especially Google Drive for example,) they act as perfect online archives for the storage of old items or content that a user may want to keep. It is easy to then forget about them because they are archive material, but there may be a point in the future when someone needs to make a reference back and find these items. The point now is if that account has not been used for two years, you are unlikely to be able to find your archived material, and if it is not stored somewhere else, there is a real risk that it could be lost forever if this is the only medium you are using. The same scenario could also apply to a Gmail account which is used to store important documents for example, which could then also be lost forever.

An important other point to look out for is that these changes in terms and conditions do not only apply to unused accounts either. If you consistently exceed your storage limits for over 2 years, you could also find your account closed and content deleted. You therefore now need to be careful to ensure the exact size of items that are being uploaded (Drive) or the total size of emails and attachments sent (Gmail) for example.

Google sites this change in policy as a bid to refresh it servers and free up wasted space that is just endlessly existing and not being used, making it a better experience for all.

Did you know that for WhatsApp the rules are even stricter? If you don’t use your WhatsApp account for as little as 120 days (that’s under 6 months,) your content too faces the risk of being deleted. This is cited as for security and privacy reasons.

The point to note is that many people are unaware that these types of rules exist as they are embedded into the terms and conditions that you sign up for, or regularly get asked to accept as updates occur. The thing to take from this posting is that if you have any online accounts at all (whatever they may be and not just with Google,) if you don’t use them for a long time, don’t expect your details to be remembered or for you to have an account when you next decide to use it. Of course it is not the end of the world, if it happens you just simply sign up for a new account. This can though be a hassle at the very least, and if you have lost important data, documents, conversations or photos, a potential problem!

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