New York (CNN) If you haven’t signed in to your Google Account in a long time, use it or lose it.
Google announced Tuesday that it will begin deleting accounts that have been inactive for at least two years, a move the company says is intended to prevent security risks.
The updated policy goes into effect immediately, but Google said it won’t start deleting accounts until December. The company plans to issue more warnings to users and to carry out cleanup of inactive accounts in phases.
The first accounts on the chopping block will be those that were created and then never revisited by the user, Google said. The policy will also only affect personal accounts, leaving organizations such as schools and businesses untouched.
Google said the decision is based on internal findings that older accounts are more likely to rely on recycled passwords and less likely to use updated security measures like two-step verification, making them far more vulnerable to problems such as phishing, hacking and spam.
The decision to delete accounts goes a step further than an older policy. In 2020, Google said users would have their content deleted from services they had stopped using, but the accounts themselves would not be deleted.
All you have to do to save your account is sign in to your Google Account or any Google service and perhaps read an email, watch a video, perform a simple search or a number of other activities.