Moving house is a fresh start in more than one department. If you’re savvy, you can use the move to clean up your digital life as well as the boxes around you. In this guide we’ll explain how to digitally detox your accounts after a house removal. At the end, you’ll have fewer useless accounts and a much tidier, more organised online presence. Let’s begin!
When Did You Last Move? Things Have Probably Changed
It’s well known that when you move house you must inform umpteen companies that you’ve changed address. This is done in person as well as on the internet. We’re asked about this so frequently that we’ve put together a handy guide for those interested.
Since the last time you moved house, it’s likely you’ll have gathered dozens more online accounts. A lot of these might have been created in innocent times when passwords were simple and security was unknown. No more.
Over the years more and more issues have surfaced to highlight the importance of online privacy. These include everything from the Heartbleed Bug and EU Cookie Laws to the upcoming GDPR regulations in 2018. With that in mind, now’s probably a good time to review things while you are in the organising mindset.
Change Of Address - Online & Offline
Since you are informing people that you’ve changed addresses, you may as well take some extra steps to change passwords properly. By properly, we mean:
- Something long (15+ characters).
- Something with a combination of uppercase, lowercase, numbers and special characters.
- Something nobody can guess - beloved pet names are no longer welcome!
- Most importantly, something unique.
You’re probably thinking “how on earth do I keep track of all these”? Strangely enough, the answer is that you don’t, not really anyway. Nowadays, the best course of action is to entrust your passwords to reputable, secure password managers that encrypt your data and only allow you to see it. These include 1Password, LastPass and DashLane.
There’s no leaking properly encrypted data; if the password managers know what they’re doing, you’re safe in the knowledge that prying eyes won’t see them. Shop around, read the reviews, and ascertain which company best suits your requirements.
Top Tip: Finding And Deleting Old Internet Accounts
It’s difficult to process how many websites you’ve registered with: beyond your Amazons and your Ebays, there are countless one-off places you might’ve signed up with since you last moved house. These range from old gym memberships and charity donations to independent stores and one-off software licenses.
Luckily, we have a tip to find these accounts easily. Go to your email inbox and search for the following subject headers:
- “Confirm your email address”
- “Confirm email”
- “Account registration”
- “Account confirmation”
- “Email confirmation”
- …and so on.
Most websites send you something like this when you sign up. By looking up these welcome emails, you should be able to trace your footsteps and change addresses, passwords or delete accounts accordingly.
Remove Yourself From Newsletters
This isn’t necessarily a security tip, but it’s something you can do while you’re in the mood. Pore through your last month of emails and remove yourself from any newsletters you don’t like. They should have a small “unsubscribe” link at the bottom of the message. Click that, and enjoy the absence of all those tedious product offers and monthly roundups.
So that’s our brief guide to securing your online accounts when you move house. It’s a time in your life when you’re at your most organised, so it’s best to seize the moment and take a few hours to get this done. You’ll emerge with a new house, less online clutter, and a sense of space and freedom you haven’t had in years!