Online Account and Deletion
Creating new online accounts either to chat with someone, find dates, or access adult content is very common.
According to Dashlane, the average number of online accounts per user is over 200.
One has no option but to create numerous accounts on different websites to enjoy the internet thoroughly. While creating accounts is often easy, remembering the password or deleting the unused accounts is very complex.
The websites and cloud-based applications offer the feature to delete your online account, but most of us don’t know that these accounts are only temporarily deleted.
Many sites often make it difficult to access the deletion page or temporarily delete it so you can recover it later. Yes, when you delete your online account through app settings, you’d only temporarily delete it. The account remains active in the database of social media or other applications.
In some cases, they would ask the users to send a support email instead of deleting it.
You’d want to delete the inaccessible account (hacked accounts) or recover and even log into your deleted accounts in many instances. This is where you need to compose a support email.
Why delete your old online account?
Old online accounts are a significant security risk. It not only makes your private information available on the internet but also makes it accessible to online predators and hackers.
Most of us often use weaker passwords to crate online accounts despite being aware that weaker passwords are easily breakable.
According to McAfee and InfoWorld,
Nearly 30% of the users reuse the same password on multiple accounts, and nearly 80% of the cloud services allow users to set up weak passwords.
This makes your old account easily accessible to online predators that can steal your identity or mainly sell your private information such as your phone number and email address to other firms.
Credential stuffing is a significant data hacking concern. It’s a cyberattack that uses stolen account credentials to gain unauthorized access to user accounts through large-scale automated logins.
To counter this, you’d need to strengthen your security by assessing unused online accounts and deleting them permanently.
How to write an email to delete an online account
Here is an email template you can send to the support team requesting to delete your online account from their database.
SUBJECT: Request to delete my account from (Website/Application)
Dear (Company Name/Customer Support Team),
I have an account in your database associated with the name ……………. and the email address ………………..
For some reason, I have decided not to use the account again; therefore, I request that you kindly delete my account from your database and delete all (Email notifications, additional email addresses, marketing emails, payment detail, or any other information).
Registered Email Address:
Phone Number (Optional)
Here is the list of things to remember while composing an email.
- The name, email address, and phone number you submit in the email must be linked to the account you want to delete. This will prove to them that you are the actual owner of the account.
- Most customer services require you to send an email request from the primary email address that you used to create the account. This is done so to prevent counterfeit requests.
- In some cases, the support team will ask you to answer security questions to approve account deletion.
- If you didn’t use your mobile number to link to the account, you would not need to submit your phone number in the email.
- Specify the action you want to be taken; permanently delete the account, recover the account, or change the password.
The account deletion process consists of the following steps:
- Request: You will submit an account deletion request through an email.
- Validation: The support staff will validate your request and cross-check your information with their internal database. If data matches, including name, email, or phone number, they will initiate the deletion process.
- Deletion: Most support teams will send you an email notifying you about the initiation of deletion, verification code, or ask for final approval or security questions.
- Final Notification: After you provide your final consent, they will delete the account and notify you about the successful deletion.
Is it common for service providers to maintain your personal information after account deletion?
It’s familiar and legal for companies in the United States to maintain customer profiles in their system, even after removing the account from their application.
While all companies must provide avenues to identify and delete account information, not all companies are obligated to do so.
Here are some major websites that do not allow account deletion.
- Barnes & Noble
- Gawker Media Websites
- Playstation Network
To permanently remove your account, you must send them an email requesting account deletion. This is the full-proof way to ensure that your online account is deleted.
How to recover an old account
If you want to recover your old account or change the password, you can do so by clicking on “Forgot Password” on the login panel or sending an email requesting the support team to retrieve your login detail.
- If you send an email, don’t forget to mention the email address or phone number used while creating the account.
- Once you submit an email, the customer service center will review it as per their support staff availability or urgency. Most of the time, your email will be reviewed within 12 to 24 hours. So, expect your account to be deleted in the next 12 to 24 hours.
With a simple email request, you can protect your personal information from leaking to cybercriminals.