Did you know your old email account may be spewing spam and malware? In today’s The Northwest Herald I talk about the importance of deleting old accounts:
It happens all the time. You move to a new email address but leave the old one intact; you set up a Yahoo! or Gmail account but never get around to using it. We assume these accounts wait patiently for us. On the contrary, they cower, helpless, waiting for the first hacker who can figure out the passwords.
Unfortunately many people use weak passwords, especially for throwaway accounts. We’ve seen examples of this with a rash of recent security breaches at Yahoo!, LinkedIn, and eHarmony, among others.
These breaches reveal that many people use simple, plain-text phrases like “linkedin”, “mypassword”, and “123456″. People also use the same two or three passwords in rotation. What are the chances some old account of yours uses a password you’ve reused elsewhere?
Here are the additional resources I mentioned in the article. You might find these related Tech Tips articles helpful:
Here are links from some of the more common email providers about how to delete accounts. Note that these links may change without notice, and that account deletion policies vary by provider. Consult the individual site for more information. I’m providing the exact URLs so you can see where you’re going.
- Hotmail (also Windows Live)
- AIM (AOL Instant Messenger)
And, some social media ones: