Computer FAQ
May 1, 2013

This week: Zombies
No, not the human kind--the digital account kind. How many times have you had to sign up on a website to check one thing out and never returned? Do you even remember having to sign up?  You have accounts all over the Internet; do you remember the user IDs and passwords? Can you get rid of accounts you no longer use? Even if the only information on that account is your name and address, email address and password, your personal information is on the Internet waiting for hackers to find it. And if you use the same password for every account your digital life can be compromised. Then there are questions about companies that have been closed, bought or sold; what do they do with their digital lives? Usually, a company’s customer data is included with the sale to the purchaser.
 I used to be a member of Seattle Filmworks and had a digital account, which included my credit card information. They sold to Shutterfly, and while I have never logged into Shutterfly, after the sale, I got several emails telling me I could sign in with my old account information. Does Shutterfly still have my credit card number? Fortunately, once the credit card expires, it is no longer useful to the companies, but could a hacker get that number and expiration date and figure out the new expiration date and still use the card in places that do not require the CCV number?
Unfortunately, I do not have definite answers for these questions, but some should be answered in the privacy statements on the websites. But many companies have no policies on Zombie accounts, either the ones that people have merely forgotten, or ones of people who have passed on. My solution is to write down in one place every website you have signed up on, and if you no longer use one, go back and see if you can delete the account, and read the privacy statement to find out if that does delete ALL your information and not just access to the web site. Then, make sure your heirs know where this account record is so they may clean up your digital life along with your physical life. And Google your name a few times a year to see what the Internet has on you.
‘til next week
Robert - 360-497-3130 Cell
ComputerFAQ #644


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Index to Past ComputerFAQ Columns:

May 1, 2013 Zombies Search Your Personal Info
April 24, 2013 Java and Adobe Updates NOT to be Ignored
April 17, 2013 Passwords And Email
April 10, 2013 Spring Cleaning-The Inside
April 3, 2013 Spring Cleaning for Your PC
March 27, 2013 Microsoft WORKS Great Substitute for Office
March 20, 2013 Windows 8 UPDATE
March 13, 2013 Helpful Equipment
March 6, 2013 Build Your Own PC
February 27, 2013 Build Your Own PC
February 20, 2013 More Help with Viruses
February 13, 2013 VIRUSes How Did I Get It?????
February 6, 2013 VIRUSes EXPECT A BAD YEAR!
January 23, 2013 Protect Your Computer from JAVA Vulnerability
January 16, 2013 Driver Update Managers
January 9, 2013 Unwanted Programs & Tools Bars
January 2, 2013
Randome Loss Of Interne
December 19, 2012 Recovery Disks
December 12, 2012 Warranty Service Part 2

December 5, 2012 Warranty Service
November 28, 2012 Printer Paper Jams - Again
November 21, 2012 Time For New PC?
November 14, 2012 Printer Paper Jams
November 7, 2012 LapTop Fan Coolers
October 31, 2012 Name Brand Replacement Parts
October 24, 2012 Facebook - What's Wrong
October 17, 2012 Waste Of Money
October 10, 2012 Phantom Printers
October 3, 2012 E-Mail Programs
September 26, 2012 Scammed-Clean/Up Your Comp-POP UP
September 19, 2012 What's Wrong With Facebook?
September 12, 2012 Backing Up Your Data
September 5, 2012 Microsoft UPDATE Your Updates-II
August 29, 2012 Microsoft UPDATE Your Updates-I
August 22, 2012 Your Digital Life and Death
August 15, 2012 System Reload
August 8, 2012 Windows 8 On the Road
August 1, 2012 DSL Modems
July 25, 2012 PC Cameras & Your Privacy
July 18, 2012 Recycle Bin and File extensions Part 2
July 11, 2012 Recycle Bin and File extensions
July 4, 2012 DNS changer due date
June 27, 2012 Rebooting
June 20, 2012 Windows 8 REDUX-Again
June 13, 2012 Windows 8 REDUX
June 6, 2012 Hard Reset
May 30, 2012 Important: Updates & Systsem Time
May 23, 2012 SSD Drives
May 16, 2012 User Accounts
May 9, 2012 July 9 "Internet Doomsday" Botnet
May 2, 2012 Recycle Bin
April 25, 2012 USB Disconnecting
April 18, 2012 Passwords - Part 3
April 11, 2012 Passwords - Part 2
April 4, 2012 Passwords - Part 1
March 28, 2012 Back Up Your BackUp
March 21, 2012 WINDOWS 8 Part 2
March 14, 2012 WINDOWS 8 Part 1
March 7, 2012 Update Your PC to Windows 7
February 29, 2012 Update Your PC to Windows 7
February 22, 2012 Update Your PC to Windows 7
February 15, 2012 On Removing Unwanted Programs
February 8, 2012 Re-Install Windows OP System
February 1, 2012 Re-Install Windows OP System
January 25, 2012 Install WI-FI in Your Home? Part 3-Hardware
January 18, 2012 Install WI-FI in Your Home? Part 2-Hardware
January 11, 2012 Install WI-FI in Your Home?
January 4, 2012 Updates AGAIN!