Do you have any old social media accounts that are no longer in your use?

Chances are you have forgotten about accessing them after the emergence of newer platforms like Instagram, Snapchat, etc.

But did you know that even though you are not using them, social media profiles remain active in the digital world?

In today’s tech era, most internet users have at least one social media account that they are not using but the content such as posts and images remain active online. Although the account is forgotten by you, there is a good possibility that someone may come across the same content when they search your name on the World Wide Web.

This is specifically apparent when you apply for a new job as potential employers have a habit of checking social media accounts before the recruitment process.

What would they find in your account? Old picture? Posts relevant to your personal life? In today’s digital era when most of our thoughts are posted on an online platform – the old accounts can be a source of major concern for many!

In fact, WhoIsHostingThis conducted a survey in this regard where they found that personal history, retracted from social media accounts can be used negatively in many personal and professional situations.

The research team surveyed over 940 people to find out whether they delete old social media accounts and content, their method of securing ‘past’ histories, and consequences, if any!

According to their findings, a majority of internet user refrain from deleting old photos and videos from their personal devices. Additionally, 80% of survey participants admitted that they never remove photos, videos, and old text messages from their social media accounts – even if they are not in use.

When inquired about their reason for ‘keeping’ the content on their personal devices as well as social media accounts, most people acknowledged that they do so for the sake of memories and record keeping. However, around half of the participants also said that they never thought of deleting the content and were unaware/unconcerned about any negative impact it can cause.

But of course, a rough 50% were indeed concerned about their data being used the wrong way by potential employers, government agencies, and future relationships.

Interestingly, the survey also looked at some of the pioneers and ‘forgotten’ social media profiles such as MySpace, Flickr, and Tumblr. According to the participants, 69% have ‘inactive’ but not disabled accounts on MySpace and Photobucket, 64% on Blogger, and 63% on Flickr.

Tips to protect online data

Social media websites are a great communication tool and many of us are guilty of making our personal life public on the online platforms. However, you can never be too careful on social media and it is important that we remember to use the network with caution.

In this regard, 77% of the survey participants said that social media users should be cautious about the content they post online while 70% recommend keeping profiles visible to friends and family only. Changing passwords frequently, deleting old posts, and deactivating the accounts that are not in use was also marked important by the surveyed participants.

Take a look at this infographic for more insights:

What Happens When You Leave Old Social Media Accounts and Content Active - Infographic

Read next: 51 Percent Of Consumers Said They Have Called Out a Company On Social Media (Study)
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