Believe it or not, we are on the 23rd day of the Digital Declutter Challenge. I hope you are making progress toward digital clarity!
Today’s task is to delete online accounts that you are no longer using. What is an account? Any online location with whom you have established a login and password.
- Medical Systems
- Financial Institutions
- Internet Services
- Travel Companies
- Entertainment Providers
In today’s environment, it seems that we are required to establish accounts to do almost anything online. Creating accounts makes it easier for us to repeatedly interact with a website, but it also means our information is spread across many locations. This makes us vulnerable to identity theft and targets of unwanted communication.
Unfortunately, we tend to be better about opening accounts than we are about closing them. It is sound practice to periodically review your digital exposure and close any accounts that you longer use.
The hardest part of closing accounts is probably remembering what accounts you have established. Perhaps you have a master list of login information (we’ll talk more about this tomorrow). If you do, simply look through your list and take note of any accounts you have no intention of utilizing.
One helpful resource for closing accounts is justdelete.me. This website offers a directory of links you can follow to delete website accounts. It also provides information about how easy/difficult it is to close accounts with the various sites. You will need to click through the links, login, and then follow the directions for deleting each account individually.
Another idea is to look at the categories above and consider where you might have created accounts in the past that are not part of your current life. For example:
- Have you moved but still have outstanding accounts with your previous medical practice?
- Did you create any accounts with charities for a one-time donation?
- Do you have a “frequent flyer” account with an airline with whom you no longer fly?
- Do have any old student accounts from your school days?
- Do you have subscription accounts for entertainment services that you no longer access?
One thing to keep in mind is that if your personal information is ever stolen, or if you should pass away, someone will need to follow up on all of these accounts. Closing unused accounts is a crucial step toward making this process as streamlined as possible.
Do you feel like you have too many accounts to keep track of? Have you ever actively sought to delete the ones you never use?