Facebook is nothing if not a controversial platform. No matter where you sit on the spectrum of loving or hating it, there may come a time where you just want to be rid of it. At that point, it’s time to delete your Facebook account altogether. How do you do it in the right way? Here are seven steps to take so you can delete your Facebook account for good.
1. Understand the Difference Between Deleting and Deactivating
Facebook offers two methods of suspending your account: deactivating it and deleting it. When you deactivate your account, you’re essentially putting a pause on it. However, when you delete your account, you’re making it completely unrecoverable. If you’re looking to have a little break from Facebook, deactivating is a good choice; if you want to completely get rid of your data, deletion is better.
2. Know What an Account Deletion Will Do
When you delete your account, you’re also going to get rid of Facebook Messenger, all your posts, all your photos, Pages you’re the only admin of, and applications that you’re the only developer of. If you want to permanently delete your account, you’re also going to permanently delete all of this data. It might be what you want, but make sure you’re aware of it so you don’t accidentally do anything you regret.
3. Let People Know You’re Planning to Delete
It might not be a good idea to just hop off Facebook without saying anything to anyone. If you have any people who you regularly talk to on Facebook, you want them to know so you can connect on other platforms. Make a post about a week before you’re ready to delete. If you’ve already decided to move to a different social media platform, link to it in your goodbye post; otherwise, you may want to tell people to message you for your phone number.
4. Disconnect Your Facebook Account From Other Accounts
If you’ve previously used Facebook as a way to sign in to other websites, you’ll need to make sure you have a way to log into those websites. Go to your settings, then look at the “Apps and Websites” section. Any of the “Active” options are sites where you’ll need to go in and change your login details. That way, you can still log in after you delete your Facebook account.
5. Download a Copy of All Your Facebook Data
This technically isn’t necessary, but it helps ensure you don’t accidentally lose something precious. Request a copy of all your Facebook data through the Facebook setting; Facebook will compile it and send you an email to download it. This can take some time, especially if you have a lot of information on Facebook, so do it early on in the process.
6. Delete Your Account From the Facebook Help Desk
This is the moment of truth—it’s really time to delete your account. The Facebook help desk has a page on account deletion, and you can navigate to it to start the process. Facebook will automatically display a page letting you know the information you will no longer have access to, so you don’t accidentally delete without knowing this. It’ll ask you to enter your password, and then you’ll get to click “Delete Account.” The deletion process technically doesn’t start for 30 days, and it could take up to 90 days. Congratulations—you no longer have a Facebook account!
7. Continue To Keep an Eye on Your Internet Presence
Whether you’ve moved to a different social media site or you’re trying to stay off the internet as much as possible, you need to keep an eye on your internet presence. This is what PeopleFinders can help you do, no matter why you’re trying to do it. If you want to keep an eye on your internet presence, consider running a people search on yourself from time to time. That way, you can get a comprehensive profile on yourself, which can clue you in on any privacy issues you haven’t noticed.
Whether you’re frustrated with your family and friends’ political rhetoric, you’re frustrated with Facebook’s privacy issues, or you just sink too much time into it, there are many potential reasons to get rid of Facebook. However, even without a Facebook account, you still need to keep track of your online data with PeopleFinders. Safety should always come first both online and offline.
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