If you're anything like me, you visit several different websites on any given day. It seems that lately, more sites want you to create an account before you can use their services. That's fair enough. For example, companies like Amazon or Etsy need to know things like your email address and physical address so they can send you what you ordered, tracking information, special offers and discounts.
But creating all these accounts comes with some major pains. Your inbox can quickly fill up with too many emails. Or even worse, the site you are doing business with could suffer from a data breach or big-time hack.
If you have as many online accounts as I have, there are dozens of sites that have bits and pieces of my information. Guess what? They have the same scoop on you, mainly your email address, username and password at a minimum.
Are you scared yet? Don't be. There are steps you can take to keep yourself protected. I recommend getting rid of old, unwanted and unused accounts. Just wipe the slate clean.
Sound like a tough thing to tackle? Sure, every site has different rules on how to close your account, and some are more difficult to get rid of than others, but that's where today's cool site comes into play.
The AccountKiller site has a collection of direct links and instructions on how to easily delete your accounts with Facebook, Twitter, Google, Groupon and hundreds of other sites and services.
With AccountKiller's color-coding system, you can see at a glance if a site will be easy or hard to leave. White means it is easy to remove, while the ones in gray or black are harder to deactivate.
If a site like Skype, for example, won't let you easily delete your account, AccountKiller will tell you how to hide your personal data. It can also provide you with any of the necessary contact information you need to erase your digital footprints.
You can search for sites by clicking on any of the tabs in blue toward the top of the screen. The tabs are labeled Popular, Blacklist, Whitelist, All Sites and Site Check. Blacklist holds the sites it's hard to remove yourself from, and whitelist is all the easy-to-leave sites. Under the site check tab, you can enter a URL to see the site's status.
That makes this site a good place to check before opening an account with a service you aren't sure you'll use.