Have you ever tried to close an online account only to discover that it is so difficult to accomplish you finally just give up? You may be relieved to know that this has very little to do with how tech savvy you are. Many online organizations employ “Dark Patterns”; interfaces that have been carefully crafted to trick users into doing specific things or, as in this scenario, makes it seemingly impossible to end your relationship and delete your account information.
After reading numerous tweets about how difficult it is to delete a Skype or Netflix account, Robb Lewis had the idea to create JustDelete.me, a directory of urls and tips on closing a variety of web service accounts. The site launched with links to sixteen companies, color-coded based on the difficulty of the deletion process: green for easy, red for difficult. Not only will justdelete.me help you close out your internet accounts, it will also give you tips on how the process works for each company and if you data really will be completely deleted. For example the site lets you know in order to delete your Skype account, you will need to know 5 contacts, the month you created your account, and the email address you used to sign up. If an account can’t be deleted, justdelete.me will offer advice about removing identifying data. Looking for help with an account not listed on the site? Robb Lewis has offered to add services upon request.
It may be tempting to just abandon old online accounts but this can be especially problematic if you are like many people and reuse the same log-in credentials on multiple sites. JustDelete.me is a surprisingly simple solution for what would otherwise be a very time-consuming and irksome problem.
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