ATLANTA - Think about all the accounts you have. There are probably too many to juggle regularly. Well, there is a downside to ignoring unused accounts. If you haven’t used an account for two years, security experts will tell you to close those accounts or re-activate them.
Here are three things that can happen with abandoned accounts. You are more susceptible to hackers. If you use a storage account - like something that holds your photos - and it’s shut down for lack of us, there go your memories. If it’s an old email address and the provider closes it, you lose access to accounts attached to the email.
Example: Let’s say you have a YouTube account that you posted private videos to years ago, and it was part of an old email address. Well, if that goes unused for a few years, that email account could be canceled. And with it goes your memories.
You may have at one point stored your photos on a site like Flickr, but long ago stopped using it. Accounts like those can be closed for inactivity. There go your photos.
Finally, think about shopping accounts you have that have stored credit card information, passwords, birthdates, and more. If that retailer is part of a data breach, the hacker has your info, but you might not know because that account has long been forgotten.
Sometimes accounts can’t be deleted, so you to make sure what’s in there is not usable. Clear out date of birth, payment info, and addresses then connect it to a bogus email address. And, to a password not attached to anything else you have.
While it may seem daunting trying track down all of those accounts, just get started. Maybe do five a week or a month.