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Website Helps Clean Up Your Digital Landfill

Posted by on Oct 20, 2013 in Lifestyle | 0 comments

Website Helps Clean Up Your Digital Landfill

It’s easy to create online. It takes seconds to create a new account with the latest social network. Files, photos and videos can be created and shared with friends almost instantaneously.

However, it’s not always easy to delete those creations. Earlier this year, I tried to delete online accounts I had abandoned. I mainly took on the project because, like storing outdated information in a file cabinet, it didn’t make sense for this information to exist anymore. As an added bonus, I thought I could make small dent in vast amount of data being stored in data centers (which, by the way, accounted for about 2% of the U.S.’s energy use in 2010). To do this, I had to visit each website I had an account with and search for the delete account option, which was rarely easy to find.

A new-ish (launched in August) website, JustDelete.me, now makes it easier to make old accounts disappear. The website offers a collection of direct links to the “delete account” option for many websites. Each site is rated – easy, medium, hard or impossible – so you know if deleting the account is an option and how challenging it will be to complete the deletion.

It was also eye-opening to scroll through the website and see how many sites don’t allow users to delete an account. All Pinterest, Picasa, WordPress.com, Starbucks and YouTube users are lifers.

Realistically, one person deleting old accounts and files is probably the equivalent of keeping one bottle of water out of a landfill, but it certainly doesn’t hurt and it does offer some peace of mind knowing that there’s a little less information about you floating around cyberspace.

Kim is an eco enthusiast who tries to make small changes that will add up and make a difference.

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