Security Clean Up

A new year. A fresh start.
Every year I start the year with a cleanup of my digital clutter.

Throughout the previous year I logged in to dozens of services with my Google, Twitter or Facebook account. It’s faster than creating accounts from scratch, and when I just want to check something out, convenience wins. This results in dozens of services being interconnected after a while. And lots of accounts and services that I probably don’t really use anymore.

So, every January 1st I go to the security page of the big three platforms and clean out the connected apps. Every app or service I don’t use anymore gets revoked, and preferably deleted.

If I want to keep using the app I check if I can turn my account in a dedicated separate account on that platform. This way a breach of say Facebook, doesn’t result in people getting access to my Airbnb account.

It only takes a few minutes, but the end result is a safer digital environment.

2018

This year I went a bit further. I disabled all authorizations for sharing across platforms too. So no more autosharing Instagram to Twitter, or Shazam to Facebook. Each platform has its strengths, so cross platform sharing only results in a worse experience when looking at content made on another platform.

Notable exception: this blog. I use Facebook, Twitter and RSS as a way to share a link to this site.

The end result:

Facebook

I used to have 34 services connected. Now, I have three apps connected to Facebook:

  • WordPress sharing
  • Instagram,
  • Facebook Development

Disabled services: Medium, Twitter, IFTTT, Netflix,…

You can disable apps via this page.

Twitter

I used to have 23 apps connected. After the cleanup, just seven apps:

  • Twitter apps for macOS and iOS
  • Twitteriffic for iOS
  • Tweetbot for macOS and iOS
  • WordPress sharing
  • Nuzzel

Disabled services: Overcast, Medium, Shazam, IFTTT,…

Also, by revoking access you free up tokens for third party developers.

You can clean your apps here.

Google

Finally Google, which went from an surprisingly low 5 to this handful:

  • iOS and Mac mail
  • Plex Cloud

Deleted services were Fantastical, IFTTT, Zendesk,

Clean your Google list here.