Most Internet users have some kind of social network. They are registered in some type of platform where their data is collected there. We are talking, for example, of accounts such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram. But also many other older or less known ones. What happens if we stop using any of them? The truth is that our data will continue to be there, even if we do not log infrequently. We are going to explain what zombie accounts are and how they can affect us.
What are Zombie Accounts?
Zombie accounts are basically those that we created a long time ago and don’t even remember them anymore. Let’s say that years ago, we registered in a social network that was fashionable at that time or that we used it to be in contact with friends. Time has passed, and we no longer use that platform. Either because it has gone out of style and is no longer used, or because we are not interested.
What about our account? As long as that social network continues to exist and as long as we have not deleted the profile, it will continue there. This can be a problem in the present. It is possible that this profile is also public and that anyone can access it to obtain information.
Our data could be available on the web to anyone. They could see our old photos, the comments we posted at the time, maybe our email address, and personal information.
We all know that privacy on the web is a very important factor. Social networks today have functions and features that we can use to preserve data. For example, make only our contacts see our information. But of course, some platforms previously did not have this function and that, having not use them in a long time, continue with that weak configuration.
When we surf the Internet, we generate what is known as a fingerprint when we register on social networks or any service. That remains there as long as it is not erased. Here we can include personal data and information that may not be interesting to be available on the network at a certain moment.
Therefore, zombie accounts are those social networks, profiles in short, that we created a long time ago and that are forgotten but present on the network. They are still there, without our access, but with the information available to anyone.
Possible Security Breaches
But we are not lone(only) talking about the public data that may exist. It should be borne in mind that on many occasions, there have been security breaches that have affected platforms of all kinds on the Internet. This means that that social network, that page where we had a profile, may have had a breach, and the passwords have been exposed.
In this case, they could even access with our credentials, collect private messages, information of all kinds, supplant our identity. Something that logically puts our privacy at risk and can have consequences.
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How to Avoid the Problem of Zombie Accounts?
Luckily avoiding the problem with zombie accounts is very simple, although not always comfortable. Basically, the strategy consists of having a record of all the social networks we use and all the registered platforms.
In case we no longer use a service, we can always easily remove it. In this way, our data will not be available on the network, and we will not have privacy problems or identity theft.
It is a procedure that can be tedious since the normal thing is that if an account is not use, it can never literally be forgotten. We may not remember the username or the password, or even an account on that service.
In short, zombie accounts are very present on the network. We all have accounts and registrations on platforms that we no longer use as much as we used to. They are not only social networks but also Internet forums, for example. Perhaps we have registered on some occasions because we were using a camera at a certain moment and wanted to obtain information from other users about its operation. We may no longer use that camera, but our account is still there. This can happen for many things.
Social networks are very present in our day to day. They are widely use to maintain contact with friends or family. They also serve to inform us or give our opinion. However, it is a source of problems when we talk about privacy. On many occasions, problems arise that hackers can exploit to carry out their attacks and obtain personal data from users through this type of service.
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