By Jennifer Korn
New York (CNN) — Google is moving ahead with its plan to delete accounts that have been inactive for at least two years.
Accounts won’t be deleted until December 1, but Google (GOOG) will start sending warnings to affected users. The company will send multiple warning notifications to impacted Google (GOOG) accounts (and to backup emails if the user provided one), and users will have an eight-month window before deletion.
The company announced the new policy back in May, saying it’s intended to prevent security risks: Internal findings show 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 first accounts to be cut are those that were created and then never revisited by the user, Google said in May.
“We want to protect your private information and prevent any unauthorized access to your account even if you’re no longer using our services,” Google wrote in its policy update Monday.
There are a few exceptions to the policy: Accounts with YouTube channels, remaining balances on a gift cards, those that have been used to purchase a digital item like a book or movie, and those that have published apps that are active on a platform like the Google Play store, the company said Monday.
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 at least once every two years and perhaps read an email, watch a video or perform a single search, among other activities.
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