There was a great segment (video below) on Monday morning’s Halloween-themed Good Morning America where host Becky Worley explained to viewers the dangers of “zombie accounts”—old, forgotten, or compromised online accounts that can come back to haunt you. As Worley puts it:

“Zombie accounts” sounds like some creepy horror show. But there is a real danger here. So, the issue is, no matter how hard companies try to protect your user data, they are big targets for hackers. Hackers want your username and your password, so they can try and log on to other accounts, hoping you used the same password. Maybe they go to your bank or PayPal, and try and get money out of those. So, what we’re looking at is a numbers game. Basically, the fewer [unprotected] accounts you have out there, the less exposure [you have].

What qualifies as a zombie account?

Any old or rarely used online account that’s protected with a weak, reused, or compromised password qualifies as a zombie account. This includes accounts that you created to use only once, mobile apps that you no longer use, and accounts with passwords that have been compromised in a hack or breach and haven’t been updated.

If you want to protect your personal information online, it’s up to you to purge these zombie accounts. Even though this sounds like a nightmare—who wants to spend hours locating and updating all these accounts that you, by definition, don’t remember?—there is a tool available that makes killing zombie accounts more fun than an episode of The Walking Dead. (Or maybe that’s just us.)

A password manager is the ultimate zombie account-killing machine

Using a password manager like Dashlane to locate and eliminate the threat of zombie accounts is like using a cheat code in a video game. Why? Because a password manager takes away a vast majority of the manual work and frustration associated with the task, so you can get back to enjoying Halloween.

Once you’ve downloaded Dashlane, neutralizing zombie accounts is simple:

  1. Run an Inbox Security Scan to locate long-lost zombie accounts in seconds.
  2. Use Dark Web Monitoring to instantly identify compromised zombie accounts associated with your email address.
  3. Now that you have all your zombie accounts saved in your password manager, you can update your passwords with the Password Generator to create strong passwords that protect each account.

Using a password manager to kill zombie accounts doesn’t just help you now—once all your accounts are in your password manager, it will send you an alert any time an existing account becomes compromised, and notify you if accounts are protected by weak or reused passwords. In other words, using a password manager means goodbye to zombie accounts forever.

Have questions about the dangers of zombie accounts or how to use a password manager? Leave them below and I’ll be more than happy to answer them.