Google has issued a three-week warning to G-mail account users about a clean-up exercise that could wipe off their e-mails, documents, photos and videos.
Google issued the warning in a statement and said it would delete millions of Gmail accounts in December.
Also, the company said this is one of the parts of a major update to the platform.
The statement read: “The purge will impact all personal Google accounts that have been left dormant for at least two years, with emails, documents, spreadsheets, calendar appointments, photos and videos all permanently deleted.
“We are updating our inactivity policy for Google Accounts to two years across our products,” Google’s vice president of product management, Ruth Kricheli, had written in a blog post earlier in May 2023.
“This update aligns our policy with industry standards around retention and account deletion and also limits the amount of time Google retains your unused personal information.”
Google added that this step is taken to protect active Google users from security threats like as phishing scams and account hijacking.
Google said old G-mail accounts that have not been used for many years stand the risk of being hacked.
This is possible because they may use the same passwords that have been compromised in other security breaches, which could be easily discovered on the dark web.
Google stated: “Any account at risk of deletion will receive multiple notifications before any action is taken,” Google said while including any associated recovery email addresses.
“We have already begun sending emails to those affected, telling users it is “to protect your private information and prevent any unauthorized access to your account even if you’re no longer using our services,” the tech giant stated.
“Losing access to a Gmail account could also potentially prevent people from using other online platforms and services that are associated with that email address, even if they are not related to Google.
“In order to keep an account active and avoid being deleted, Google users are advised to open or send an email, use Google Drive, download an app on the Google Play Store, or simply make a Google Search while logged in to the account.”
Google however revealed that any G-mail account that has posted a video to YouTube does not stand the risk of being deleted regardless of the last time it was active.