As I write this, it’s the last day of 2016, and that means its time to ready to start 2017 fresh. For me and hopefully many of you(anytime in the future), this means reducing your digital footprint online and deleting old unused accounts.
This past year, and like many before it has shown that we can’t fully trust our information to be safe online. Companies are routinely breached, passwords cracked and account lists are still being reported on a regular basis. How can we live with such a reality? The simple answer is only keep what you use, so all unused accounts should go.
I am going through my list of online accounts (yes I have a list so I don’t lose track of where I am present, and you should probably start one too!) and contacting support to have accounts closed if no easy way exists once being logged in. Unfortunately it looks like the new normal is that all these companies want us to call support or place a ticket to get them to remove our data from their servers. So don’t let this hassle stop you from closing things down.
How important is this really? Well, how many online stores have you used? How many saved your payment info? How many saved that info and you don’t know that it’s out there? Payment and address info is a lot of personal information a hacker could get if these online places are breached! Now, how many accounts do you have that may have such information on you? At the very least don’t let these companies save your payment info when you don’t regularly use them and it’s even better for them to never store it. Additionally, don’t trust that the one transaction you did didn’t auto save it! They tend to do this for convenience, so log back in and check to make sure it’s not there!
So as we enter the new year (whatever one is up next when you read this) take time to remove some digital clutter and safeguard your online presence, your bank account and all your friends that can be scammed when accounts are compromised. The best defense is a good offense with staying safe online. Also, change your passwords while you are at it. It’s probably been awhile anyway, and don’t forget the longer it is the better. Hopefully closing some accounts will help you avoid the next big breach of 20XX.