Google will begin deleting inactive Gmail accounts this week under a new security policy. If you have a Google account that you haven’t used in a while, here’s what to know to make sure your information isn’t affected.
Earlier this year, the tech giant announced that it will delete Google accounts that haven’t been used in the last two years, along with emails, photos and other data stored in the account. The change is set to go into effect in December, which means you might have just a few hours to back up any important data that you forgot about.
Google said it will be deleting accounts in a phased approach, beginning with accounts that were created and never used. The company also said it will send multiple notifications to the account as well as its recovery email prior to deletion.
To make an old account active, all you have to do is sign into it. Actions like reading an email or using Google Drive will keep the account open for at least another two years, according to Google.
Google said the new policy is an effort to protect user security, because inactive accounts are more likely to be compromised. Forgotten accounts are more likely to use old passwords and to not be protected with two-step verification, making them more vulnerable to hackers, the company said.