How to Permanently Delete Facebook
Most of us have vowed to break up with Facebook at some stage or another, whether it’s due to the spammy posts, the annoying ads or the fact that you spend hours on the social media platform daily, which can affect your well being. However, in addition to being accused of being a tool of disinformation or even running fake political ads, Facebook is not willing to let you or your internet data go so easily.
Up until 2007, even those individuals that deleted their Facebook accounts didn’t have their user information removed, which ended up being more of an account suspension rather than deletion. Today, you have two options which include deactivation, allowing the user to come back after some time to a full account, with the data remaining available to Facebook even if you don’t return. Ever.
The second option is to permanently delete your Facebook account. This involves contacting Facebook directly, and you will have to jump through multiple hoops to do so. This timely process takes up to about two weeks to complete, but if you want your information removed, that is the only way to go about it. Want to know how it’s done? Keep reading.
So, You Want To Permanently Delete Facebook
Prior to deleting your account, you might want to consider logging in to your account and downloading a copy of all your information on this social media platform. This includes:
- About Me
- Account Status History
- Active Sessions
- Ads Clicked
- Facial Recognition Data
- IP Address
- Matched Contacts
- Pages You Admin
- Phone Numbers
- Recent Activities
- Screen Names
- Status Updates
To do so, you will need to click on the arrow found on the top right-hand side of the window, then click on settings. Find your Facebook information and click on that, and then select Download your Information and View.
There, you will have options for removing categories of data. Click Create File to confirm the download process.
Once you have made your download request, it will come up as Pending in the Available Files section of the Download Your Information Tool. Take note that Facebook can take a few days to complete preparing your download request.
As soon as your request has been prepared by the team, you will receive a notification that it is ready. To retrieve it, go to Available Files and click Download. You will need to enter your password to do so. There is also the option to Show More which will allow you to view the information about your download request including its format as well as when it will expire.
How to Permanently Delete Your Facebook Account
- Click on the arrow found on the top right-hand corner of your Facebook page.
- Click on Settings and then Your Facebook Information found in the left column.
- Select Deactivation and Deletion.
- Click on Delete account and then choose the Continue to Account Deletion option.
- Enter your password, select Continue and then Delete Account.
Things to Keep in Mind When You Delete Your Facebook Account
You should know that you have 30 days to cancel your account deletion, and after those thirty days, your data will be permanently deleted and will be inaccessible. In saying that, it can take up to as many as 90 days to delete all the things that you have posted on Facebook, but as this information is being deleted it will not be accessible to other users.
Facebook also says,
“Copies of your information may remain after the 90 days in backup storage that we use to recover in the event of a disaster, software error, or other data loss event. We may also keep your information for things like legal issues, terms violations, or harm prevention efforts. Learn more about our Data Policy.”
Just hitting the delete button will not wipe out your account like it never existed. Whilst anything that you may have generated like your photos, profile information, as well as any posts, might be deleted, anything that may not have come from you will still remain.
This includes those embarrassing photos of your nights out with friends, which any one of them posted, as well as your communications such as your messages.
There are also those sneaky log files that are kept when you delete your account, but they do not have your name attached to them.
CNN says, “You won’t be able to log into apps like Instagram or Spotify using your Facebook account anymore. Instead, you’ll need to sign up for the service directly with a unique log in.
Keep in mind apps you’ve already installed could still have your shared information even after disabling the feature. You’ll have to contact the app individually and ask for your data to be removed. Facebook doesn’t give instructions on how to best reach out to the app.
Another thing you may not know: People on Facebook who can see your information can bring it with them when they use apps such as games. By selecting Settings > Apps > Apps Others Use, uncheck the boxes you don’t want those apps to access, such as your birthday, hometown, and political views.”
And it’s not just that. Remember that even when you aren’t on Facebook, your online movements can be tracked.
‘“When you visit a site or app that uses our services [such as a Like or Share button, Facebook ads tools or Facebook Login], we receive information even if you’re logged out or don’t have a Facebook account. This is because other apps and sites don’t know who is using Facebook,” wrote David Baser, Facebook’s product management director, in a blog post.
The information Facebook gets from third-party websites and apps includes IP addresses, browser, and operating system information, the address of the website or app you’re using, cookies and device identifiers.
Facebook says it uses this data to enhance its own products and services, improve safety and security on the social network, and to continue providing its services to third-party websites and apps.’
When you delete your Facebook account forever, you should know that:
- You will not be able to reactivate your account
- The content which you have uploaded on your account will be permanently removed without any possibility of you retrieving your information unless you have downloaded it first
- You will not be able to use the Messenger application
- Specific information like messages that you have sent to your friends will still be visible to them
- Any apps with which you used Facebook to log in, will not be accessible anymore.
If you have the desire to disappear online, there are steps that you can take, and one of them is to permanently delete Facebook. Another way to remain anonymous when on social media is with the help of a VPN.
Using a VPN for Facebook to Protect Your Information
If you don’t want to permanently delete Facebook, but want to stay clear of Facebook’s tracking capabilities you can do so with a Virtual Private Network. A VPN will keep you secure by rerouting your internet connection through an encrypted tunnel, sending it to a server in a completely different location.
There are some things you will need to consider when choosing a VPN for Facebook to restrict them from getting to your personal information and data.
Strong encryption will keep all your online activity and personal information hidden from any third parties. When choosing the right VPN for your needs, you will need to choose a VPN service provider that uses military-grade encryption so that Facebook is unable to track your activity and it will not be able to connect your online movements to your identity.
ExpressVPN is one of our favorite VPNs for Facebook, as it covers all your bases in keeping you protected. With over 3,000 servers in as many as 94 countries and 160 locations, it is also one of the fastest. Many VPNs offer speedy connections, but those have spikes in speed, whilst ExpressVPN offers a constantly fast connection.
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With Facebook increasingly coming under fire for the way in which they misuse user data, there has been a surge in people who want to delete their Facebook account. Unfortunately, not all of those people understand that there is a difference between deactivating your account and deleting it permanently.
Those users who deactivate their accounts will ensure that nobody will be able to view their profile other than themselves, whilst information like messages will still remain visible and their name will also come up on your friend’s lists. Any posts made by the user will still be visible to admins in groups and the option to still use messenger will be available.
On the other hand, when you permanently delete Facebook, your account that is, you will be deleting all of the information found on your profile and will not be able to reactivate your account. There won’t be the option of using Messenger, and the messages that you send to your friends will be visible to them.
Any images that friends have posted with you in them will still remain online, as that is their information and not yours, and the deletion process can take up to three months with Facebook allowing users 30 days to change their mind about permanently deleting their data.
If you still wish to communicate with your friends in various locations around the world but hate the thought of Facebook tracking your every move, you have the option of investing in a VPN. By doing so, you will be able to keep your online movements private and restrict Facebook from accessing as much of your information as they do.