I'm sure one of the most frustrating things you experience with your tech devices is the inability to delete or clean up those old online accounts. Just think about how many of those sites have your information. If you're like me, there's a ton of websites and services you haven't used in years or barely use. You can't just delete an app off of your computer or smart device to delete an account. Also, the more online accounts you have, the more you're at risk of hackers getting access to your personal information. Want to get rid of your online accounts? Here are some quick and easy tips to help you delete them.
How Can I Delete My Old Accounts?
Deleting an old online account can be a painstaking process. First, you have to remember all of the accounts you have signed up for. It's worth it however as you're minimizing your risk of criminals getting your information. Here are steps to follow to help you in your quest to get rid of those old accounts.
1. Do a search on the Internet with a search engine like DuckDuckGo or Google using the search words of the website name and delete account. This will help you locate the link that will take you directly where you need to delete your account.
2. Use a website like JustDelete.Me which has a database of instructions on how you can delete those old accounts.
3. Contact the support department for the account in question and ask them to delete your account. Be careful if you're planning to use Google to contact the website’s support and ask to delete the account. You may run into bogus numbers to fake tech support companies who will offer to do this for a large fee.
What Happens If I Can’t Delete an Online Account?
There are many online accounts that hang around online like old luggage and you just can't get rid of. Those accounts include Wikipedia, Netflix, Pinterest, Starbucks, and YouTube.
If you find that you can’t delete your online accounts, there are some things you can do to protect your personal data.
1. Delete any saved payment and financial information. If your account is breached, saved credit card and bank routing numbers that make it easy for anyone with access to the account to make purchases.
2. Delete any personal information you have stored in the online account. For example, if you have information saved in a calendar service or note-taking service, you’ll need to delete that data.
3. Delete any personal identification information like your name, address, birthday and other details cyber criminals can use to steal your identity.
4. Become a Cyber Liar. On those accounts you can't delete, change the personal information to a fictitious name and your email to a fake email address. If the information from those accounts is leaked, criminals just get useless information.
Moving forward, don't be so quick to sign up for online accounts. Ask yourself 'is it worth the trouble?' When you minimize the number of online accounts you have, you lessen the chances that those accounts will be used against you in the event your accounts are hacked or if that information is stolen in a data breach.
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