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Google users warned millions of accounts will be deleted today

Google users warned millions of accounts will be deleted today

Is your account at risk?

Google will start ruthlesslessly culling old accounts from today.

This will include any emails, photos, documents or other data stored within those accounts - but don't worry, it's not like you're about to lose all your precious data.

Instead, the tech giant is cleaning up inactive accounts.

Chesnot / Contributor / Getty Images

The move was announced back in May, with Google citing safety as the main reason behind it.

"If an account hasn’t been used for an extended period of time, it is more likely to be compromised," Ruth Kricheli, Google's VP of product management, wrote in a blog post.

According to Google analysis, abandoned accounts are "at least 10 times less likely than active accounts to have 2-step-verification set up" - meaning they're more vulnerable to being compromised.

But what does that actually mean? Well, Kricheli wrote: "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."

Your account might be at risk if it's been inactive for over two years - so chances are it won't affect you too much. And there's no need to worry if you have a Google account set up through a school or business, as they'll all be safe from the purge.

Instead, it's probably a good opportunity for the cringeworthy email address you set up as a tween to be banished - for good.

And it's not like December 1 is going to be a complete bloodbath, with Google saying it's taking a phased approach. First, it will wipe accounts that were created and never used again - and you'll get fair warning if yours is on the chopping block, with Google sending mulitple notifications to the account's email address and recovery address (if there is one) telling you what's going to happen.

MamiGibbs / Getty Images

If you do want to keep your account safe, all you have to do is sign in - and Google recommends doing something like reading and email or watching a YouTube video to really confirm it's an active account.

For an extra layer of safety, Google recommends providing a recovery email when you sign up for your account. If you did this years ago, it's worth checking your account settings to see if it's still up to date.

There was a mixed reaction to the news when it was first announced. Some were concerned about what this meant for creators, causing Kricheli to later update her post to note there are no current plans to delete accounts with YouTube videos.

Other critics were worried about what would happen to the accounts of dead friends and family - but it doesn't necessarily mean they're lost.

If you do want to keep the accounts of loved ones who have passed away, you can request access to Google here.

Featured Image Credit: Chesnot / Contributor / Getty