Step 2: Delete Old Accounts

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Updated October 9, 2023
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Security for Everyone

It is 2 a.m., do you know where your data is? Probably not, because even I struggle with tracking all the websites and accounts I have signed up for. You need an account to use most websites, and my password manager is starting to look as thick as a phone book.

On your list, you might have been forced to think about accounts that you have forgotten about. If you no longer use an account or social profile—delete it. Although you can’t guarantee 100% removal of your information, it is the one small action you can take to try and limit the data sprawl and information footprint you have online. If that account provider has a breach and accounts are accessed, you have done as much as you can to reduce your personal risk. A lot of us don’t have the time and energy to track down all these accounts that have been long forgotten. Heck, I forgot I even used LiveJournal until I was notified about a recent security breach. Wherever there is a time-consuming process, there is a company out there providing that process as a service. Services like DeleteMe are great for those of us who need an extra hand in finding which accounts we might still have out there, and an extra hand in getting them shut down.

This also applies for all those Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) accounts you signed up for as a free trial (to vet it for use in your business), uploaded some data to play around, and then moved onto something else. We will dive into a bit more detail around picking the right SaaS tools for your business later. For now, being conscious of the accounts you create and the data you store in them is what you need to do. If any of that data has value, it needs to be protected with a unique, long password and 2FA.

Step 3: Be Deliberate With Privacy Settings

Being the key business ambassador, you want to be visible. You want to shout to the rooftops about all the amazing things you are doing and accomplishing, in hopes it gets picked up, goes viral, and causes business to boom.

But every public profile, tweet, post, blog, and even list of connections and people you know can be used against you too. While this book is focused on security, privacy and security often go hand in hand and we would be silly to not mention it.

The passive and active information we share on social media can be used by others to start to put together the pieces of an attack. While you are unlikely at this point to have an attacker that seeks you out, there are still some easy and automated attacks that you could fall for.

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