Google will start deleting accounts that have been dormant for at least two years as part of a new security measure, the company announced on Tuesday.
People will not only lose access to their email but also to content saved in Google WorkSpace, such as Google Docs and Google Photos, it added.
While Tuesday's announcement is only a forewarning, Google has said that account deletions will begin in December.
The change will only affect personal accounts and not affect accounts for organisations such as schools or corporations.
Google will start by deleting accounts that were created but never used again, and the company will issue repeated reminders in the months leading up to a deletion. The reminders will be sent to both the Google and recovery email addresses if one exists for the account.
Those who do not want their accounts deleted should sign into inactive accounts.
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What else can you do to keep your account active?
- Reading or sending an email
- Using Google Drive
- Watching a Youtube video
- Downloading an app on the Google Play Store
- Using Google Search
- Using Sign in with Google to sign in to a third-party app or service
According to Google, the decision to delete dormant accounts is motivated by security concerns. Inactive accounts are more vulnerable to compromise since they are more likely to employ old or re-used passwords. They're also ten times less likely than active accounts to have two-step verification enabled.
"Meaning, these accounts are often vulnerable, and once an account is compromised, it can be used for anything from identity theft to a vector for unwanted or even malicious content, like spam," Google said.
This is among the latest security moves by Google. The company also recently announced it would offer passkeys, which are safer than passwords, as a login option.