Why It's Important to Delete Old Apps & Accounts
Last month was the first part in our 3-part series on organizing your digital life, and I wrote about file organization. This month, I’d like to discuss another gem when it comes to decluttering our devices (and our minds): deleting your old, unused apps and online accounts. We’ll also see why this type of spring cleaning is more essential than you might think.
First of all, when I talk about “apps,” I’m referring to anything that we may call “programs” or “software.” How did we get so many of them on our computers and phones? Surprising isn’t it?
You may have collected these apps over time in a variety of ways:
HOW TO FIND OLD APPS
It’s good to go through your device periodically to see what you don’t or can’t use anymore.
WHY IT’S IMPORTANT
WHY IT’S REALLY REALLY IMPORTANT
Moreover, it’s especially important to remove those unused applications if you have login accounts tied to them (and many do). In fact, you should think about deleting all of your unused online accounts, whether there’s an app associated with it or not. “But I don’t have that many,” you may think. Oh yeah? Take a look at how many passwords/logins you have.
Where did they all come from? Of course, we have our important passwords that we use frequently, such as our Windows or Apple ID, or our patient portal login info. But we also tend to collect many other account logins, just like we tend to collect unopened plastic wear from takeout dinner orders.
These old accounts can contain a slew of your identity details, personal data, credit card information, and (hopefully not) your favorite re-used password. Why have more targets for attackers than absolutely necessary? It’s also likely that you’re still receiving spam from some of those old accounts.
HOW TO FIND OLD ACCOUNTS
If you’re wondering just how many accounts you have, there are three good ways to find them:
WHAT TO DO NEXT
Note: simply deleting the app from your device does NOT delete your account. Once you’ve found an old online account, you’ll have to go to its website, login, and then find out how to delete it. You can usually do this under your account settings on the site. However, as many sites have different procedures, you may have to do a bit of looking around.
With any luck, your account is so old that the company already deleted it for you!
Stay tuned next month for Part III in our series when we take a look at finding photos and deleting duplicates.