The less personal material about you on the Internet, the lower your personal cyber risk. So, now is a good time to clean up those stale, unused accounts and reduce useless online personal information.
To get started, take an inventory of your online accounts. To jog your memory, start by using your browser’s record-keeping:
Just in case, also check some commonly used websites, such as:
Airlines (American, Delta, United, etc.), Apple, Banks / Credit Unions (Chase, Bank of America, etc.), Craigslist, Dropbox, eBay, Facebook, FedEx, Google, Groupon, Healthcare (Blue Shield, Cigna, ZocDoc, etc.), Hotels (Marriott, Comfort Inns, Hilton, etc.), Internet Service Providers (Spectrum, GoDaddy, etc.), Intuit, Jdate, LinkedIn, Lyft, Match, Meetup, Mint, Mobile Phone (AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, etc.), Netflix, PayPal, Publications (Wall Street Journal, NY Times, etc.), Spotify, Starbucks, Tax Services (TurboTax), Ticketmaster, Twitter, Uber, US Postal Service, UPS, Vimeo, Yahoo…….
Now, delete or cleanse stale digital haunts and data. For example, delete your Google+ account, because it is now defunct. Here’s some “cleansing” guidance:
● Remove unnecessary data.
● Delete if unused or no longer needed.
● Remove password duplicates (if you are using a password manager, these are easy to identify).
● Remove any unnecessary third-party access (e.g. does that site really need access to my Facebook profile?).
Finally, consider using the DeleteMe feature at www.abine.com to delete your personal information from search engines (like Google) – it will clean out name, address, age, phone number and email address. DeleteMe is also available as an app on Google Play for Android smartphones.
FOR FURTHER READING:
CyberGuardian: a SecureTheVillage Guide for Residents is available on Amazon.
A complete Security Checklist is available: https://www.nerdsiview.com/security-checklist-2/
References for Village Residents are available at SECURE THE VILLAGE: https://securethevillage.org/residents
How to Search and Destroy Your Old Accounts, Consumer Reports, October 2019.