GOOGLE is now just days away from beginning a mass purge of accounts.

The search engine giant is expected to cull millions of accounts – and the deadline shouldn’t be ignored.

Make sure your Google account isn't deleted

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Make sure your Google account isn’t deletedCredit: Getty

Google accounts are used by billions of people all around the world.

They grant access to key services like Gmail, Google Drive, and YouTube – and also add bonus features for tools like Search.

But over the years, many created accounts have fallen inactive.

Google says it’s very worried about this – warning that old accounts could be hacked by cybercriminals.

The company has vowed to delete your account if you haven’t used or signed in to it for at least two years.

And once it’s deleted, it’s gone for good – with all of its associated content

So if you have images and files saved in Drive or Photos, they’ll vanish.

The same is true for events in your Google Calendar, and every single email in your Gmail.

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Google’s new policy

Google has already changed its policy to include inactive account deletion.

But the company delayed the beginning of the cull until December 1, 2023, so people would have enough time to save their profiles.

Google said that the purge is designed to keep users safe.

“If an account hasn’t been used for an extended period of time, it is more likely to be compromised,” Google said.

“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.”

According to Google, an abandoned account is 10 times less likely to have two-factor authentication switched on.

That means they’re at significant risk of being stolen by hackers.

And these “vulnerable” accounts could be used by cybercriminals for identity theft or spam campaigns.

The good news is that not every single inactive account will be deleted on December 1.

Google revealed it was taking a “phased approach” by starting with accounts that were created and then never used again.

You should also receive a warning if your account is due to be deleted.

“Before deleting an account, we will send multiple notifications over the months leading up to deletion, to both the account email address and the recovery email (if one has been provided),” Google said.

How to save Google account from being deleted

Thankfully there are plenty of ways to save your account from being scrubbed.

“The simplest way to keep a Google Account active is to sign-in at least once every 2 years,” Google said.

“If you have signed into your Google Account or any of our services recently, your account is considered active and will not be deleted.”

Alternatively you can sustain your account by:

  • Reading or sending an email
  • Using Google Drive
  • Watching a YouTube video
  • Downloading a Google Play Store app
  • Using Google Search
  • Using Sign In With Google for a third-party app or service

And the eighth way to save your account is simply to have an active subscription on it, like Google One.

Your account will also be protected if it has any YouTube videos uploaded.

This post first appeared on Thesun.co.uk

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