Deleting Accounts

I have too many accounts.  I feel like every time I’m on my laptop or a mobile device, I’m constantly having to login to something.  Or reset a password.  I find it hard to remember:

  • all logins/passwords
  • the existence of the account, especially those infrequently accessed
  • where I’m leaving behind bits of information about myself

It seems pretty common to create an account for just about everything on the internet, mostly so that user habits can be monitored, tracked and analyzed.  Or so that a history of activities is recorded and made available at a future time.  Many of these accounts I create for a one-time use and then forget about them.

I decided I wanted to have more control over my accounts and to eliminate as many of them as possible.  The first step was listing all the accounts I could remember.  To date I have compiled a list of 50 accounts, which seems to keep growing.  And this doesn’t include all the one-off accounts that I’ve created and promptly forgotten about.  Accounts are for things like:

  • Financial services (banking, savings)
  • Buying/selling things (Craigslist, Amazon, iTunes)
  • Collecting points (airlines)
  • Email (gmail)
  • Social Media and networking (Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook)
  • Administrative purposes (backend of this blog)

Phase II of my Account Cleanup Project will require me to identify what the accounts are for and assess whether I actually need them or not.  If they are not needed I want to delete them.  This coincides nicely with the release of a new website called lists popular sites and ranks how difficult it is for a user to delete an account, keeping in mind the difference between an account deactivation and a deletion.  justdelete.meeven has a chrome plugin that will rate a site with a colored dot that signifies how easy or difficult it is to delete an account.

Rating system used with Chrome to determine how easy it is to delete an account.

Rating system used with Chrome to determine how easy it is to delete an account.

Naturally I love anything that has to do with deleting stuff.  I appreciate what is trying to accomplish, but I’m curious about how deletions are handled from the service providers end.  Is it just the account connection that’s being deleted or does all my information go along with it?

How many accounts do you have?  How do you remember logins/passwords?  Will you be trying to delete any of your accounts?



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