Your Gmail account may be deleted this week unless you follow expert advice

Google is making some major changes to its online services and it could leave some losing complete access to their Gmail emails, photos and personal documents. The update from the technology giant is aimed at getting rid of millions of inactive accounts that are lying dormant on its servers.

Anyone who hasn’t logged in for two years could find they are affected by the virtual spring clean and one expert specialising in digital legacy tech is warning that it could cause some issues for more people than you might think.

Parents often think ahead when having children and set up Google accounts for their future. However, these can then sit dormant until the child is old enough to use them. There’s also a concern for people looking after the accounts of someone who may have passed away with precious memories at risk of being lost.

Speaking via LinkedIn, Nicholas Worley, founder and chief executive of digital archiving platform Inalife said: “Google is about to purge millions of inactive Gmail accounts including emails, documents, spreadsheets, calendar appointments, photos and videos! Login, save or backup any important memories and stories!”

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If you are concerned you simply need to make sure you login and show Google that the account is being used.

This includes sending or reading an email, watching a YouTube video, using Google search, or using Google Drive.

It’s also worth noting that Google says it will message users before any action is taken so you should get plenty of warning.

“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 confirmed.

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So why is Google making this major change to its terms?

The technology firm says that ageing and inactive accounts are far more likely to be targeted by cyber crooks which makes things. That makes things a lot more unsafe for all users across the web.

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.

“If an account hasnโ€™t been used for an extended period of time, it is more likely to be compromised,” Google added. “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.”

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