How to Delete Your Online Accounts
Table of Contents
- By David Lukic
- Oct 28, 2021
With as many internet accounts are created daily, it’s only natural to forget about online platforms once you’ve signed up. However, these old accounts can put you at risk of a data breach or worse, identity theft.
Why Does This Matter?
Online accounts that you don’t use may not seem like a big deal. However, keeping these accounts can make you an easier target for hackers and cybercriminals such as MySpace users who forgot about their old accounts and were part of a huge 2016 data breach.
A breached forgotten account can be a big risk if you have many other accounts on the internet using the exact same login and password. Each time you create a new account, your risk of being hacked increases.
How to Find And Delete Old Accounts
Deleting old internet accounts that you no longer use helps to decrease the risk of being involved in a data breach. There are some ways you can find and delete these accounts.
Search your saved browser passwords: Browsers like Google Chrome and Safari often offer to save passwords. Go through your list of logins to find any websites you no longer use and delete your account according to each website policy. These browsers also have an inbuilt function that tells you which passwords have been compromised and which have been reused.
Check Third-Party Sign Ins: Since it’s possible to sign in with accounts like Google, LinkedIn, or Facebook, you can find a list of old accounts sites easily by heading to the third-party server settings. You can see these accounts under apps you have granted access to. Revoking access does not delete the account. Make sure to go to the respective site to delete the required account before removing these apps from any third-party sign-in permissions page.
Search your email inbox: Most sites usually send welcome emails from accounts you’ve created over the years. Search for terms like “welcome to,” or “verify your email” to find accounts you might have missed elsewhere.
Search for breached old accounts: It is important to find out whether any old accounts have already been subjected to a data breach. Doing so will inform you on what accounts to pay special attention to. Carrying out a free identity threat scan lets you know if your data has been involved in a breach.
Delete Difficult Accounts: For some sites, deleting an account is not as easy as clicking a button. If you’re having trouble deleting an account, sites like Account Killer offer a database for ways to delete a wide variety of online accounts.
How to Protect Your Online Accounts
There are steps you can take if your old accounts have been involved in a breach.
Use multi-factor authentication: One of the first steps to protect your online accounts is turning on multi-factor authentication for as many of your internet accounts as possible.
Use a password manager: Since each password you use for your online accounts should be strong and unique, remembering them can be a hassle. The best way to maintain strong passwords without struggling to remember each one is by using a password manager. Most password managers flag weak or compromised passwords, suggest strong passwords and stores them for easy access.
Find and Delete Unused Accounts Regularly: It is important to take time to find and delete old accounts regularly. Also, you don’t have to create an account with your email address for every online service. Some password managers and Apple devices allow you to create temporary emails that you can use for accounts you only need for a short while.