Google will delete accounts older than two years to help avoid security risks, the company announced Tuesday.
The tech giant said neglected accounts are more likely to use old or repeated passwords and less likely to have two-step authentication enabled and to do security checks on the account.
“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,” said Ruth Kricheli, Google’s vice president of product management.
Deleted accounts would wipe out data across Gmail, Google Drive and Docs, Google Photos, Google Calendar and YouTube.
The policy applies to personal Google accounts, not business or school-associated ones.
Google said it will send several notices to inactive accounts and to recovery emails associated with those accounts. The deletions will start in December at the earliest, and accounts that were created and never used again will be removed first, Kricheli said.
To keep an account active, a user simply has to log in. This includes logins to third-party websites and apps.