Posted by Sam Heft-Luthy, Product Manager, Privacy & Data Protection Office What happens to our digital accounts when we stop using them? It’s a question we should all ask ourselves, because when we are no longer keeping tabs on what’s happening with old accounts, they can become targets for cybercrime. In fact, quite a few […]
What happens to our digital accounts when we stop using them? It’s a question we should all ask ourselves, because when we are no longer keeping tabs on what’s happening with old accounts, they can become targets for cybercrime.
In fact, quite a few recent high-profile breaches targeted inactive accounts. The Colonial Pipeline ransomware attack came through an inactive account that didn’t use multifactor authentication, according to a consultant who investigated the incident. And in the case of the recent T-Mobile breach this summer, information from inactive prepaid accounts was accessed through old billing files. Inactive accounts can pose a serious security risk.
For Google users, Inactive Account Manager helps with that problem. You can decide when Google should consider your account inactive and whether Google should delete your data or share it with a trusted contact.
Once you sign up for Inactive Account Manager, available in My Account settings, you are asked to decide three things:
Setting up an Inactive Account plan is a simple step you can take to protect your data, secure your account in case it becomes inactive, and ensure that your digital legacy is shared with your trusted contacts in case you become unable to access your account. Our Privacy Checkup now reminds you to set up a plan for your account, and we’ll send you an occasional reminder about your plan via email.
At Google, we are constantly working to keep you safer online. This October, as we celebrate Cybersecurity Awareness Month, we want to remind our users of the security and privacy controls they have at their fingertips. For more ways to enhance your security check out our top five safety tips and visit our Safety Center to learn all the ways Google helps keep you safer online, every day.
Source: Google Online Security