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If you have a Google account that has been laying dormant for a while and you want to still keep it, you’ll need to sign back in to avoid Google’s big account purge.

Starting this December, Google will kill off accounts that have been inactive for two years or more, starting with accounts that were created and never used again. The company said it will delete all content associated with these accounts, including content within Google Workspace (Gmail, Docs, Drive, Meet, Calendar), YouTube and Google Photos.

Google explains: “If an account hasn’t been used for an extended period of time, it is more likely to be compromised. This is because forgotten or unattended accounts often rely on old or re-used passwords that may have been compromised, haven’t had two factor authentication set up, and receive fewer security checks by the user.

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“Our internal analysis shows abandoned accounts are at least 10x less likely than active accounts to have 2-step-verification set up. 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 ensures it will roll this out slowly, and will send multiple notifications over the months leading up to deletion, to both the account email address and the recovery email.

The policy only applies to personal Google Accounts, and will not affect accounts for organisations like schools or businesses.

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