How to Remove Your Profile From Sites You No Longer Use

Q: I recently came across some profiles online that I had set up years ago and promptly forgotten about. I couldn't figure out how to delete them and now I'm worried that my private information could get into the wrong hands. Any advice?

Thumbnail image for AccountKiller-Post.jpgA: With nearly 700 million users, Facebook is often the go-to example for all-things tech. Here it's both a convenient and fitting one. Let's say the massive social network changes its privacy policy (again) and this time, you decide, it has gone too far. You want out. You want to leave. You could just stop visiting, never sign in again. But that's not going to remove you from the servers where Facebook stores all of your pictures, status updates and private information. To do that you have to completely delete your account. Because websites, Facebook included, often make it difficult to remove yourself from their control, it could take a while to find the right page and instructions before you're confident that the deletion process has been completed.

AccountKiller makes things a lot easier. The website collects links and instruction to make removing yourself from one of dozens of different websites simple. Remember that old Hotmail account you no longer sign in to? How about the Last.fm profile you created just so you could try out the service -- and then promptly forgot about? Classmates, Hulu, Digg, BlackPlanet, Bitly, Alexa, Answerbag? AccountKiller has you covered. There are some websites and services, like iTunes, About.com and MyHeritage, that make it nearly impossible to leave. AccountKiller has blacklisted those services, but the website still provides instructions on how to best disable your account and keep your private information just that: private.

Tools mentioned in this entry:

More questions? View the complete Toolkit archive.

Image: AccountKiller.

Presented by

Nicholas Jackson is a former associate editor at The Atlantic.

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register with Disqus.

Please note that The Atlantic's account system is separate from our commenting system. To log in or register with The Atlantic, use the Sign In button at the top of every page.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

What Happened to the Milky Way?

Light pollution has taken away our ability to see the stars. Can we save the night sky?

Video

The Faces of #BlackLivesMatter

Scenes from a recent protest in New York City

Video

Desegregated, Yet Unequal

A short documentary about the legacy of Boston busing

Video

Ruth Bader Ginsburg on Life

The Supreme Court justice talks gender equality and marriage.

Video

Social Media: The Video Game

What if the validation of your peers could "level up" your life?

Video

The Pentagon's $1.5 Trillion Mistake

The F-35 fighter jet was supposed to do everything. Instead, it can barely do anything.

More in Technology

Just In