How to Delete Your Facebook Account: Part 1

Now, more than ever, I am being asked how to delete a Facebook accountIt’s totally understandable given the massive amount of data that has been shared by and breached from the Facebook servers about our most personal information, including our political leanings, our buying behaviors, even the contents of our phone calls and text messages. Users are finally figuring out that their private information fuels Facebook’s profit model. Your data is Facebook’s inventory, to be traded and sold as they see fit. Deleting your Facebook account should be something that you spend a few minutes thinking about before you press the button. While you are doing a great deal to protect your privacy, there are consequences that you should think about.

Chances are, you are more tied into Facebook than you might know. For example, you might use your Facebook credentials to login to other websites like Spotify, Twitter or a host of other websites that piggyback on your Facebook login so that they can tie your usage on their site to your personal details on Facebook. On those websites, you will need to create a separate, non-Facebook login before deleting your Facebook account. You might also use other Facebook apps that you will lose access to, like Facebook Messenger, Facebook Home and Facebook Pages as well as Facebook groups that you belong to to keep us with events organized by friends, family and favorite causes.

Finally, sometimes there is a social penalty imposed by friends and family who’ve gotten used to connecting with you, seeing photos and getting updates about your life through Facebook. You will want to find an alternitave way to communicate with them once you have left the site.  

For some people, this is a high price to pay for deletion, for others, it just reinforces how badly they want to remove Facebook from the middle of their most intimate online interactions. Your 1MM today is to spend a few days thinking about the implications of deleting your account. Then watch the video below for part two of this series, where I will give you specific tips on how to go about deleting your account. Even if you aren’t deleting, it’s full of useful information for you as a Facebook user.

How to Delete Your Facebook Account: Part 2

If you are still interested in moving forward with deleting your Facebook, here are some key points to keep in mind:

  • Before you do anything, make a complete backup or archive of your data so that you have all of your posts, photos and videos before they are deleted. You will never have a second chance to get these back, and you definitely don’t want to lose those memories.
  • Understand that Facebook has imposed a 2-week “deactivation” period before they will delete your data. If you login to your account in any way (forgetting you’ve quit Facebook and logging in, automatic sign-in on your phone, using your Facebook credentials on another site, using an app that connects to your Facebook account, etc.), it will reactivate your account and it won’t be deleted.

With this in mind, you need to… Revoke all App permissions with Facebook access, like Spotify, Instagram, etc. This can be a tedious process, but Facebook has recently made it a bit simpler with a bulk deletion optionOnce you are in your account and in the App settings, Facebook now allows you to bulk delete any or all of the 3rd-party apps that connect to your account. This is a fast way to stop sharing your data with third parties.

Next, make sure that you log out or delete all phone and tablet apps, including Facebook Home, Messenger and Pages. You will want to do this on all of your devices, as logging in from ANY device will reactivate your account during the deactivation period. It’s important that you stop logging into all non-Facebook sites using Facebook credentials. Instead, create a unique username and password for each of those accounts. Make sure you add these new passwords to your password management software in the process.

Don’t be fooled into switching from a deletion request to a deactivation request. Facebook employs a few tricks to encourage this. Remember, deactivation is not deletion. And here’s an extra tip. To be totally certain that outside Apps and websites can’t use your Facebook credentials to log in, change your Facebook password before starting the deletion process. That way, none of your old Facebook-based logins will work without you having to enter your new, post-deletion password. This will stop all unwanted logins to your account.

If this all seems like too much work, you can simply move to Europe, where the EU has implemented far stricter regulations on how Facebook is allowed to treat your data. Many of those privacy settings aren’t available to users in the US. It typically takes about a month to delete an account, but some information may remain in backup copies and logs for up to 90 days according to the Facebook Data Use Policy.

Facebook will delete your data upon account deletion, but shared data may remain. And believe me, most of the data you have on Facebook has been shared one way or another and will remain on FacebookWhat you are actually doing is minimizing future data that is shared about you, and removing yourself from the advertising treadmill that having an active profile provides.

If you are ready to move forward, you need to understand the steps in greater detail, so your 1MM is to visit this website to begin the process. You can also consider just deactivating your account, but that does little to actually protect your privacy. Either way, I think you are smart to be thinking about and taking control of your social media footprint. Even if you just lock down your privacy settings on Facebook, you will be thankful you spent the time. I’m John Sileo. Thanks for joining me.