Gmail: Google warns users their old accounts may be deleted over security concerns - how to save it

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Google has warned inactive Gmail users that their accounts may soon be deleted over security concerns.

Google has issued a warning that inactive Gmail accounts may be deleted soon as part of their security measures. However, the affected users are given plenty of time to ensure they are able to secure any accounts they want to retain access to, said the company.

According to reports, the mass deletion will begin at the start of December, with the company citing safety concerns, as obsolete accounts may pose a security threat. Google considers an account to be inactive if people do not log in within two years.

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In May, Google warned that it would start deleting accounts and said that it was doing so because those inactive accounts were more likely to be compromised, and could be used for other online crimes.

Ruth Kricheli, Google’s vice president for product management, at the time 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.

“Our internal analysis shows abandoned accounts are at least 10 times more likely than active accounts to have 2-step verification set up.” Those attackers can then use that account to send spam emails or steal people’s identities, the company warned.

What does inactive Gmail accounts mean?

While Google considers an account to be inactive if people do not log in within two years, there’s much more to it than just logging in to it. Not only should you look at the Gmail inbox, you should also use the same login to watch YouTube or make Google searches, or download apps from the Play Store.

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Accounts that have money in them in the form of gift cards will also be kept open.

How to save your old Gmail accounts

Google has sent warning messages to the affected users, but also to any recovery email addresses that have been provided. Users will be given at least eight months’ warning before their accounts are removed, Google says.

Once an account is deleted, the email associated with it will no longer be eligible for us, so that people will not be able to steal old and now recovered email addresses.

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