Do you still have a MySpace, or a Xanga? There are probably a few accounts out there that you no longer use – and probably didn’t remember you had. But they are still part of your digital presence and should be monitored. How do these old accounts pose a cybersecurity threat?
Easy Targets: Well, old accounts usually have outdated privacy settings. That means cyber-criminals could be using your personal information to build a social-engineering profile for you, making it easier to target you in phishing or spear phishing attacks. If they have info on your subscriptions, memberships, likes, affiliations, etc. they can make their phishing bait emails much more believable.
Data Leaks: Let’s say your privacy settings on those old accounts are locked down tight. How robust is that website’s security? How easy is it for cyber-thieves to break in and steal it? Chances are, websites or services that aren’t widely used anymore aren’t going to have the most up to date information security measures in place. Do you really want to risk it?
Optics: Another reason to clean up your old accounts may be simply to moderate the content that’s out there. As we all know, the internet is forever. When we post a comment, publish an article, or share a photo, our name is tied to that media until we delete it. Do you have accounts with NSFW photos, comments, or content? A quick search on any search engine should reveal content tied to your digital identity. Is there something you don’t want shared?
So go ahead, take a stroll down your memory lane on the internet and see what you find. Deactivate accounts you no longer need, manage old content and how it’s shared, and enjoy the peace of mind.