Don’t Just Delete Old Online Accounts

November 2, 2011

by — Posted in Personal Writing

This is just a friendly reminder to everyone in the online nether regions.   You hear all the time about people quitting Facebook, MySpace, blogger, etc.    There is a problem with that.   Most of the time when you delete your account from these services your username is now free.   This means anyone else in the world can sign up for that username and then receive emails to you, impersonate you, etc.   It is simply better to wipe off as much information as you can and then just stop using the account.

You may still run into a problem if the service deletes your account due to inactivity.   Depending on how long it’s been, and if everyone knows that the account is dead, this may be an ok alternative.  This is going to be a judgement call.  Hopefully it’s a service you signed up for once and never really used.  At this point there should be no harm in freeing up the username.

The reason I am posting this is due to my large-scale content push a few years ago.  I used to push all my content to the far reaches of the known universe.   This content will still exist in web archives for decades to come.   I however can’t really keep track of it and decided to start going through a ritual cleanup.   Making sure all that get’s posted is mine and I know where it happens.  At the very least this is going to help watching my metrics, since I’ll know where someone looked at this picture or watched that video.   The problem with this is the manual effort it takes to actually login to a service and wipe out your information.

I’ve started on killing my LiveJournal account (I exported all the entries first), I have way too many posts over there.  It is going to take me hours to manually delete all the entries………

 

 

One thought on “Don’t Just Delete Old Online Accounts

  1. It might also pay (obviously only in net identity theft) to set your auto response or vacation setting to full time response on such places as gmail and yahoo to generate an automated response indicating the account is not being used. That way you can later turn it back off to use it, or perhaps also receive a lost password update/change which is usually more my concern. That an email I used is the default password response to a valuable account with personal or sentimental content. Sometimes it can pay to horde or at least weatherize an infrequently used account. Later you might miss visiting the old lake side cabin only to find squatters logging into your idiotic one rung ladder bank.

    (BTW) The FB login option is crapping out.

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