Internet privacy: Account killer

By J. Carlton Collins, CPA

Q. Is it possible for me to delete all of my personal profile information on the internet? If so, how?

A. The website accountkiller.com contains instructions for removing your personal profile information from many popular websites, including Facebook, Google, Skype, Twitter, Windows Live, Yahoo!, and numerous others. To access these instructions, visit accountkiller.com and use the alphanumeric menu to locate the websites you want. (As pictured in the example screenshot below, the accountkiller.com website lists several thousand websites and uses color-coding to indicate whether your profile can be fully removed, partially removed, or not removed at all.)

According to accountkiller.com, websites displayed on their website in blue do allow removal, those shown in gray allow partial removal, and those highlighted in black do not allow removal. I counted more than 500 websites (as of July 2016) that, according to accountkiller.com, do not allow you to remove your personal profile data. For example, once you create a Tinder account (a dating app), all of your personal data remain even if you delete the account. Later, if you create a new account using the same email address, your old Tinder profile data and pictures reappear automatically.

To begin the process of removing personal profile information from the internet, you might start by following the instructions provided by accountkiller.com. In the future, you might also make a note to avoid those websites that do not allow your profile information to be removed.

techqa8

About the author

J. Carlton Collins (carlton@asaresearch.com) is a technology consultant, a CPE instructor, and a JofA contributing editor.

Note: Instructions for Microsoft Office in “Technology Q&A” refer to the 2007 through 2016 versions, unless otherwise specified.

Submit a question

Do you have technology questions for this column? Or, after reading an answer, do you have a better solution? Send them to jofatech@aicpa.org. We regret being unable to individually answer all submitted questions.

SPONSORED REPORT

How to make the most of a negotiation

Negotiators are made, not born. In this sponsored report, we cover strategies and tactics to help you head into 2017 ready to take on business deals, salary discussions and more.

VIDEO

Will the Affordable Care Act be repealed?

The results of the 2016 presidential election are likely to have a big impact on federal tax policy in the coming years. Eddie Adkins, CPA, a partner in the Washington National Tax Office at Grant Thornton, discusses what parts of the ACA might survive the repeal of most of the law.

QUIZ

News quiz: Scam email plagues tax professionals—again

Even as the IRS reported on success in reducing tax return identity theft in the 2016 season, the Service also warned tax professionals about yet another email phishing scam. See how much you know about recent news with this short quiz.