Why should you delete your old unused online accounts?

I recently created a list of all my user accounts online by digging through all my old emails. I was surprised at the length of the list. The list included many accounts ranging from my social media accounts to the profiles associated with a software / service I used a looong time ago. Some of the accounts where created for a single time usage like posting in forum, trying out a service, etc…
And now creating an account is more easier and required than ever. The option to signup with Facebook or Google means, we could create numerous online profiles and easily forget they exist. Most apps and services require you to create an account.

Why should I delete them?
  1. Privacy— Many of these accounts contain personal data such as Email, Phone number, Date of birth, address, usage of that service, my preferences, etc… The privacy settings in the services are constantly changing. You cannot keep updating and checking all of them. It is better to close the unwanted accounts.
  2. Reduce Spam — Do you get SMS or Emails from services that you no longer use? I do often. Even unsubcribing from emails does not stop all emails. Some services send emails related “important announcements” no matter what. Deleting a user account is one way to go.
  3. Reduce risks — The number of data breaches are increasing with every year. How many accounts have saved your payment methods or bank details? Would we even notice if one of our older accounts get hacked? It is better to keep the attack surface minimum.
Data from Statista

Some websites do not offer a direct menthod to delete accounts and some requires contacting their customer care. Some do not alow account deletion at all. Some of them have confusing deactivation or deletion terminologies. It takes some time and work to delete a user profile online. But your data is worth the time.