What was the first online service that you signed up for? Perhaps it was your middle school email address (“[email protected]” anyone?) or your very first Tumblr or Myspace account. Whatever it was, it’s likely that you haven’t used these accounts in years — but did you ever actually delete the account?
Over the past decade, you’ve likely collected various online accounts that you no longer use. But just because you stop using an account doesn’t mean that it doesn’t exist — and your data is likely still floating around on the World Wide Web. These old “zombie” accounts haunt your digital graveyard and are easy pickings for cybercriminals.
The Haunting of Accounts Past
Today, most websites and apps either require or strongly encourage their visitors to create user accounts. Almost always, exchanging an email address for an exclusive offer seems a fair tradeoff. As a result, consumers quickly accumulate accounts, many of which they may not even remember creating.
According to Digital Guardian, 70% of consumers have more than 10 password-protected online accounts, and 30% have too many to keep track of. These accounts are comprised of free trials, stores that you no longer purchase from, one-time accounts that you create to buy something, gaming platforms, and apps that you only used a few times. While they may have once served a purpose, you no longer need them.
The problem with zombie accounts is that they contain credentials at risk of exposure. Say that you sign up for a free week trial of a meal kit delivery service. When creating your account, you incl ..
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