Google to delete accounts that have been inactive for at least two years

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New York
CNN
 — 

If you haven’t logged into your Google account in a long time, you better use it or lose it.

Google announced Tuesday it will start deleting accounts that have been inactive for at least two years, a move that the company says is intended to prevent security risks.

The updated policy takes effect immediately, but Google said it will not begin deleting accounts until December. The company plans to send out multiple warning notifications to users and to conduct the purge of inactive accounts in phases.

The first accounts on the chopping block will be those that were created and then never revisited by the user, Google said. The policy also will only impact personal accounts, leaving organizations like schools and businesses untouched.

Google said its decision is based on internal findings that older accounts are more likely to rely on recycled passwords and less likely to employ up-to-date security measures like two-step-verification, making them far more vulnerable to issues like phishing, hacking and spam.

The decision to delete accounts goes a step further than an older policy. In 2020, Google said users would have their content wiped from services they’d stopped using, but the accounts themselves would not be deleted.

To save your account, all you need to do is log in to sign into your Google account or any Google service and perhaps read an email, watch a video, perform a single search or any number of other activities.

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