Remember! Close down your old accounts

Twitter login screen on a laptop - CC0 Public Domain

With computer hacking so often in the news, here’s a little bit of best practice to help protect you: close your old accounts.

Whether it’s a social media channel that has long been mothballed or a web service which is no longer used, leaving old accounts hanging around also means leaving sensitive data out there unnecessarily.

What to do if one of your social media accounts is hacked

Think you just need to get back in and change your password? Think again. You need to check, and if necessary sort, four things. more

It’s better instead to go through the process of closing or deleting the old accounts, removing information from systems so that it can no longer be hacked and risk indirectly exposing other accounts. Even if you have always done the right thing of using different passwords for different services, the hacking of an old account often reveals other information – such as email addresses or phone numbers – which can be used by skilled hackers to get into other accounts. So best to tidy up after yourself when services are no longer required (and of course this applies to personal accounts just as much to work accounts).

If you’ve done that and are looking for another step to take to help keep you secure, then take a look at turning on two-factor authentication. Here’s Tom Scott explaining what it’s all about in case you’re wondering why simply relying on a password isn’t good enough:

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