An internet puzzle

I’ve got accounts with many online services (of course).

A puzzle is to keep track of them all. A second puzzle is to know which ones have financial and other sensitive information.

Until I got overwhelmed, I was going through the sites that I knew about. I had been fixing passwords so that they weren’t all derived from the same root sequence of letters.

If I had used a password vault, the problem would be much easier… once I put services in the vault. But until then, I’m at a loss to find them all.

When possible, I change the stored credit card number to a one-time-use credit card number with a credit limit of $10 and a duration of 12 months. Bank of America provides free one-time-use numbers; I’m not sure which other banks provide that service.

Many eCommerce sites have the option to not save the credit card number for future transactions. Amazon is the opposite. The (expired) burner credit card numbers are building up in my payment methods. I must delete each one separately, so I don’t.

OneĀ evaluation criteria on Terms of Service; Didn’t Read is whether users are able to delete their account. It’s surprising how many services don’t have that capability. Deleted accounts are safer for protecting personally identifiable information. Account destruction might not remove all personal information (from system backups, history files and big data stores, for example) but it’s still an improvement over an abandoned account.

When you log in via a Google link (and presumably Facebook), Google tracks what sites and apps use that feature so that you know which they are.

That’s a small consolation against the passel of sites that I’ve forgotten.

 

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