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Many times, we sign up for plenty of online services, which we only use for a small duration. Soon after fulfilling the requirement, the account is of no use but still exists.
Most of these accounts can still have details like identity details, card numbers, and other personal data. Stealing this data becomes a lot easier when unattended. Therefore, closing these old accounts is important.
The Importance Of Deleting Old Online Accounts
Now, everything is going digital and data breaches have become a common scenario. Having an unused old account is problematic in many ways.
Firstly, it can leak all the personal data stored in the account. Furthermore, if you have signed up for their newsletter, your email account will be spammed with such emails. The password you have used in that account if reused puts your other account that shares the same password and email id at risk too.
Therefore, if your one account is breached, the risk of another account getting hacked is high too. The personal information stored in the unused account can also give the other person a clue about the security questions of other websites. The overall impact of deleting your old online accounts is that it secures all your data.
Find Your Old Accounts
Before you delete your old accounts; it is essential to find them first. If you have forgotten about your old accounts, worry not. There are many ways to find your old accounts. Firstly, you can check your password manager to see all the unused accounts and passwords.
The password manager also stores the login details and can make it easier for you to log in to your old account. Look through the list of the password manager to identify all the unused accounts.
Secondly, you can search your email to find all the unused accounts. You can use keywords like verify or free trial to find the accounts. Other keywords you can use to discover more unused accounts are welcome or verified.
Many users use Twitter, Google, or Facebook to create and then further sign in to an account. You can check your social media account to see the additional account that you have used to create a new account.
What To Do If You Can’t Delete An Account?
If you can delete the unused account, you should proceed with it. However, if you cannot delete an account due to any circumstances, you must pursue additional actions to ensure that your personal data is safe.
To start with, remove all the payments and other financial information stored in the account. Secondly, delete all the private data stored in it. You need to be extra sure that you have deleted all the data for apps like to-do, note-taking, and calendar apps. However, if you want to save any data before deleting it, feel free to export the data.
Lastly, remove details like birthdays, shipping addresses, What Is My IP, and names stored in the account such data can be used as personal identification and is usually stored in the account setting section. Once you have deleted all the data, you can anonymize the account.
For anonymizing the account, change your email address and other information into something totally random and meaningless. When you perform all these tasks, you ensure that even though the account deletion was impossible, it now carries no information linked with you. Such data, even if leaked, do not pose any actual threat because all the information on it is fake.
Stay Careful In The Future
When you go ahead to delete the accounts, you will realize how difficult it is to delete them. Therefore, learn to be selective when you create a new account. Perhaps, you should even consider having a dedicated email address to sign up for accounts that do not contain any of your real information.
The fewer accounts that you will have, the less you will be prone to data breaches. Also, before signing up for any new service, check whether you can delete the account later or not. You are most likely to find its answer in the FAQ section.