Just because we stop using them, doesn’t mean they go away, nor our accounts. Some old accounts may come back to bit you in the hiney, too, because you haven’t:
- Deleted them.
- Updated your password recently.
- Left a list of contacts in there ripe for hacker plucking.
I’m sure I’m guilty of this too. I may even have an old @prodigy account – so 80s. Companies get swallowed up, merged, tossed. But, your data is part of the selling price. Your data and account may have personal contacts, way too much personal information, including SSNs. Really, I’ve helped people clean old accounts up on social and I was surprised at what some limping older companies had the audacity to ask for, including PayPal connections.
Think back – Netscape, AOL, MSN, Hotmail, Yahoo, MySpace, Prodigy, Monster.com for jobs, Classmates.com. And more recently, Blab, Meerkat, Digg, soon to leave us Mozilla’s Firefox. Lesser knowns include: Pure Volume, Open Diary, Xanga, Diaspora, Orkut, Friendster, MyLife.
Dig around your list of old passwords and see if any of these are in there. Think back a few years to the email account you would have used to sign up. Try to do a password reset to test if there is actually an account – then DELETE IT.