GREENSBORO, N.C. — Ever get frustrated when you try to close an account online, but you can’t figure out how, so you just forget about it?
"Keeping all that unused personal data lying around the internet could put your digital privacy and security at risk," said Paul Hope, Consumer Reports Tech editor.
Now Consumer Reports reveals some tips and tricks to help you say goodbye to unwanted accounts once and for all. Chances are, you have more old accounts than you think you do. Think about that personalized calendar you ordered years ago, you probably had to make an account with that company. Or maybe you bought something from a Facebook ad, or you downloaded an app for an airline you no longer fly.
Start by checking each account’s settings or account menu. If it’s not there, go to the help menu or even the frequently asked questions to look for instructions.
"If you still haven’t found it, try contacting customer service. It’s often faster to go through text chats instead of a phone call whenever possible," said Hope.
To help you find accounts that you’ve simply forgotten about, CR suggests these tips: Google your email address and old usernames, check for saved log-ins in your web browser or password manager and search your email inbox for old “welcome” messages.
And if you live in California, you can take advantage of the state’s privacy law, which requires most businesses to let state residents delete data collected from them. Companies don’t have to honor the request if you’re not a California resident, but some do anyway.