Are you aware that unused online accounts are at risk of being hijacked by hackers who can then use them to do malicious things in your name?
That’s one of the reasons why I wrote this post.
Unused accounts also unnecessarily consume a portion of the service provider’s resources that could be used by other accounts.
For those reasons (and possibly others), Microsoft recently tightened up their policies concerning the deletion of inactive user accounts.
Here is the most important quote from that page:
“ii. Account Use. You must use your Microsoft account to keep it active. This means you must sign in at least once in a two-year period to keep your Microsoft account, and associated Services, active, unless a longer period is provided in the Microsoft account activity policy or in an offer for a paid portion of the Services.”
In a nutshell, that means in most cases Microsoft will delete user accounts that the owner hasn’t logged into at least once within the past two years.
What’s more, Outlook.com email and OneDrive cloud storage accounts will be closed after just one year of inactivity!
That means if you haven’t logged into your Microsoft account for a while you just might lose it unless you log into it before the two year grace period expires.
Of course if you use your Microsoft account to log into your Windows device and/or use any online Microsoft service (Outlook.com or OneDrive, for example) on a regular basis you don’t really have to worry about this.
On the other hand, if you never use your Microsoft account I recommend that you go ahead and close it now without waiting for Microsoft to do it for you.
Why? Because a dormant account that gets hacked can cause all kinds of problems for you (and for other folks as well).
Luckily, if you do use your Microsoft account on occasion you can easily prevent it from being deleted due to inactivity.
All you have to do is log into your account right now and then log in again at least once every few months to prevent the account from being flagged as inactive.
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