6 Account Types That Cannot Be Abandoned
You probably never thought that leaving behind old accounts in social networks could lead to serious consequences, but you would be surprised.
Today we’ll talk about 6 types of accounts that can not be left alone in any case.
Do you want to leave the internet? Here is a guide on how to do this.
#1 Social network account
Few people regularly check their accounts on all social networks. When you create an Instagram profile, you’ll log in to Instagram and several other services through Facebook — it’s convenient. Then you realize that you don’t really need Facebook. Of course, the social network continues to send notifications to your mail if you did not bother to turn them off, but they have long been filtered into a separate folder.
When a user receives an email that someone has logged into their account from an unfamiliar computer, they will not notice this email. And hackers will have enough time to quietly use the accounts linked to Facebook. And they will probably have time to expand their work to extort some friends or subscribers of the victim on Facebook for money.
What to do:
- Set up two-factor authentication.
- Enable notifications about logging in to your account from unknown devices.
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#2 Spare email address
Many people start a separate email for mailing lists so as not to clutter up their main mailbox, and they register everything on it, including profiles with important data. And since there are no messages from real people, it is not checked very often. Therefore, if the backup mail has been hacked, the user may not notice for a long time — at least until they lose access to some very important account.
What to do:
- Connect two-factor authentication to this account.
- Configure the forwarding of emails from this e-mail address to your main email account in a separate folder.
A list of anonymous file sharing services to protect your confidential data.
#3 Password Manager
Imagine that you stored the credentials from your accounts in a password manager and then decided to change it. Unfortunately, the profile in the old manager has not disappeared and the passwords in it (half of which you probably did not change). If someone gets access to this profile, they will be able to get to your accounts. Meanwhile, even after discovering the theft of an account, not everyone will immediately figure out where the criminal got his password from.
What to do:
- Be sure to delete accounts in password management services if you don’t use them.
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#4 Accounts in online stores
Many stores offer to link a bank card or an online wallet to your account to make it easier to make purchases. And some even do it automatically. If you often use the services of the resource, this is most likely fine with you. In addition, such a profile probably contains your home and work addresses to deliver goods and other valuable data about you.
However, you may eventually opt out of the services of this store. If the account lives its own life, and it is hacked, hackers will get access to valuable information, and you will most likely find out about it only when they try to buy something on your behalf. Or when they’ve already bought it – not all services require a code from an SMS to confirm the transaction.
What to do:
- Don’t link your main cards to accounts in online stores.
- If the service remembers the card automatically, do not forget to delete it.
- Get a separate card for online purchases and keep only a small amount of money on it.
#5 Google Account for Work
If you need access to Google Analytics and other work services, you may create a separate Google account for this. Separating personal and work profiles is a good practice, but many people forget to delete their work Google account after they leave a job.
The company’s IT service usually blocks accounts created by the company immediately after their owner leaves. But they may not think about the services in which former employees have registered themselves. As a result, someone’s account may remain on the internet with access to working documents and other confidential information. Moreover, if such an account is hacked, it will be very difficult to detect it because no one even remembers that it exists.
What to do:
- For a retired employee, nothing.
- For companies — do not forget to revoke access to services, including the departed employee’s Google account.
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#6 Phone number
Some users have a separate phone number for all kinds of services, loyalty cards, bonus programs, and public Wi-Fi networks so that the main phone does not get into the spammers’ databases. And at the same time, they use this SIM card for two-factor authentication. Although such a number is not an account, and you cannot call it “abandoned” in the full sense of the word, problems may also arise with it. On the one hand, several accounts are linked to it. On the other, you probably rarely call from it if at all.
The fact is that it is unprofitable for the operator to service SIM cards in which you do not invest financially. If you need the number solely to receive incoming SMS, it may be blocked after three months and then resold.
Sometimes the numbers are bought up quite quickly. In this case, you may not have time to reconnect your accounts to a new phone. But the buyer, if they turn out to be dishonest, will be able to find your accounts in online services and change their passwords, so it will not be easy to restore them.
In particularly neglected cases, they will be able to get to the bank accounts and online wallets linked to this number and draw off a certain amount of funds from them before you notify the bank about the situation.
What to do:
- Set up a reminder for yourself: once every couple of months, call or send at least one SMS from an additional phone number.
- Always maintain a positive balance on the account of this extra phone.
How to avoid problems with abandoned accounts
As you can see, even if you don’t need an account by itself, hijacking can cause many problems. And it is much easier to prevent a threat than to deal with its consequences. Therefore, we recommend that you monitor your accounts. Here are some useful general tips:
- Remember where and when you’ve registered. Check which phone numbers and email addresses your accounts are linked to in social networks, online stores, banks and other important services, and untie all current profiles from outdated contacts.
- If you log in somewhere via Facebook, Twitter or Google, or keep an additional email address and phone number for mailing lists, check them from time to time.
- If you decide to stop using a password manager, an online store, or a social network account, delete your accounts in these services.
- Don’t forget to set up notifications about logins to your account in the services — and respond to such notifications as quickly as possible.
- Use a security solution that can notify you about leaks in the services that you use.
Protect your internet privacy and follow cybersecurity tips!