You need it to do anything productive online

To shop, have a voice on a social platform, send an email, book an Airbnb or check your how much money you’ve got left to your name.  Before you book your flight to your next summer vacation destination, you have to surrender bits of your personal information just to create an account.

It’s 2016 and nearly 2.1 billion people have social media accounts, 2.6 billion people actively use their emails, and 69% of Americans shop online every month.  The amount of accounts that people accumulate throughout their lives is almost ridiculous.

A new account equals a new password, and the human brain can only remember so much. 

A survey completed by Dashlane in 2015 says that people In the U.S. have over 130 accounts registered to one email address.  If one’s email account were to be hacked, they’re exposed.

In spite of the rise in cyber crime and all the stories we hear about the hacking of people’s online accounts, a majority of people opt not to create different passwords for every account simply because it’s just too much.

 So we resort to reusing passwords.

If you’ve been keeping up with our blog, you know that’s rookie mistake #1 in the game of online security.  A survey by Telesign polled 2000 people in the U.S. and UK, and showed that 40% of the people who reused their password had encountered a security incident within the past year.  Don’t be one of those people.

A larger online footprint heightens your chances of being hacked if you’re not on top of password security strategies and all of your online accounts. So if you want to raise the defenses of your online life, it’s time to do some spring cleaning.

We all have those accounts that we created for that “one time” use.  Whether it was buying a gift for a loved one from some obscure online shop, or to receive a discount from a store that we know we’ll never go to again, it was worth it in the moment to quickly make an account.

Or maybe you have old accounts from the past and you know their glory days are forever over. (Sorry Myspace)

If you’re receiving emails from recipients that you have no remembrance of or you know you’ll never log into their sites again, just cut the cord and don’t risk your chances.  Delete, delete, delete.

A good rule of thumb is being honest with yourself and acknowledging which accounts you consistently use throughout the month.  Your social media, email accounts, online bank account, certain online stores, game sites, Netflix, whatever site you habitually visit are safe.

If you’re still left with a handful of accounts after you’ve narrowed it down to the essentials, or you just can’t seem to let go of everything, consider using a password manager and create the ultimate password for it.

With over 4 million accounts being hacked each year, the numbers will only grow as people continue to move their lives online and hackers will be searching for easy targets.

All it takes is the discovery of one password for a horrible chain of events.  So don’t be easy bait and cut the ties to any forgotten accounts.