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ElectroTheDevolian

What's the Best Way to Find Your Old Accounts?

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So recently I got a spam email saying the whole "Here's [insert old password here] I was not payed to do so I know who you are blah blah" and it did spook me for a second, but after I realized I changed all my major accounts' passwords a few days ago in a recent panic attack along with all the others that have been changed prior, I laughed it off and deleted it.

Strangely enough it showed up in my spam not too long after I checked the Wallpaper forum (first and last page only, apparently it's unsecure.) and Haveibeenpwned to see if my email was pwned. Not a big surprise it was, otherwise I wouldn't have got the spam. Also probably should've kept that spam to report considering it must've been personally sent if they have traffic to that site...

Now thinking about it however I probably do have old accounts creeping around way out in the 2000's golden era that may be using that old password, and I just still haven't managed to find them to either fix or delete them. Is their any foolproof solution to finding these old accounts, or is it still a wild goose chase to go through and find every single one of them? I always have my inbox clean, so I have no real way I've searching way back in the past to find them besides painfully going through all the sites I remember using, and there still may be some out there.

I feel like the best way to fix this old account solution would be to be able to ping all accounts via sending you an email from your email(s), but I guess that'd be going heavily against privacy, and if you ever were to get hacked / breached they could use that against you and obtain everything a lot faster...it truly is a questionable predicament.

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Greetings,

I don't know of any reliable way to retrieve old accounts, however as long as you aren't using that old password any longer on any current sites, and assuming none of the old sites you may have used were keeping any current/relevant financial or personal data then you should be relatively safe (short of the occasional spam scam attempt, obviously).  You could try doing a web search for your commonly used user names and email address(es) to see if they are linked/mentioned on any sites, though that will likely only show social sites like forums and the like where that info gets posted publicly, but other than that I really don't know how you would or could go about discovering which sites you've used in the past if you can't recall using them.  I suppose it would be best to focus on financial/retail sites and the like where more sensitive info is more likely to be stored, and perhaps trying to login there and perhaps even contacting their support personnel to check and see if they have any of your data (which they should be able to validate by sending something to your email so that they know it is actually you and not an imposter of course), but I suppose if only trying to change one old password, then all you'd have to do is try logging in to know whether you used such sites or not so I don't know how helpful that would be.

Either way it's always best to never use the same password twice, and even to change user names frequently across sites so that your info cannot be so easily linked and used by someone malicious in the future for any nefarious purpose.  Using a password manager may also help as I know many people use those these days to keep track of their user names and passwords, allowing the use of many different and more complex passwords that you would normally not be able to remember thus making it more difficult for anyone to brute force or guess them to access your accounts online.

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