Posted 23 February 2023
Importance of Deleting Old, Unused Social Media Accounts
Every time you create a new account, visit a website with cookies, or enter your information into a new app or website, your digital footprint expands. It’s practically impossible for most of us not use the internet or digital platforms for informative purposes, shopping, networking, etc. However, one big thing you can do is fully delete any old social media accounts you used to have that you don’t monitor or use regularly. Old social media accounts can be fun to go back and check out, but also leave you vulnerable for a variety of reasons.
You might think your old accounts don’t have any information hackers could use for fraudulent purposes or to steal your identity, but most accounts contain a lot they could use. This includes your name, where you’ve lived, places of employment, pictures of you with your pets, family members, friends and vehicles, and some of your favorite things. All of this provides valuable data that can be used to help guess your usernames or passwords, answer other account’s security questions, or to impersonate you.
Hacking your account
Hackers also love being able to log into old social media accounts you have and don’t monitor so they can pretend to be you to either try using the same information to log into other platforms or to scam your friends and family out of money. If someone gets a message on a social media platform from one of your accounts asking for information or financial support, it’s easy for them to believe it is you who needs with help something.
One of my husband’s old accounts was recently hacked into, and the person sent a message to everyone on his friend list saying he was at the airport and needed $40 for transportation home because he left his debit card on the plane. They knew information about our child, his friends’ names, and key things to say based off previous interactions they could see on this platform. He hadn’t used this platform in over four years, but never fully deleted it which left it open for the hacker to have full reign.
Steps to deleting old accounts
It’s not enough to simply remove an app from your phone. You have to actually go into the platform or account, and delete it fully so you can no longer locate the account or login using your existing credentials. The website, backgroundchecks.org/justdeleteme/, provides a list of different sites or platforms people may have accounts with that shows the difficulty levels to deleting such accounts. It also allows you to click on the different platforms listed in order to be directed to their website’s support page with instructions on how to delete everything fully.
©2023 Reseda Group LLC, used under license.