Facebook seems to have taken over our lives, to the point in which it is likely that we spend more time talking to our friends online, or checking their profiles instead of actually meeting them for a coffee to catch up. Many people are more concerned about uploading photos to impress others, than actually living their lives and enjoying new experiences. To make matters worse, Facebook doesn’t exactly respect your privacy. The company is continuously involved in controversy due to the way in which it handles users’ information. In recent months, the fact that Facebook was giving advertisers the chance to target teenagers with ads, at times in which their posts suggested that they were feeling down and needed to boost their confidence. This shows that Facebook is even willing to exploit young users’ vulnerabilities.
For a place that is meant to help you to connect with new people and stay in touch with friends, the reality is that Facebook is not safe or friendly at all. This is why many people are looking for ways to free themselves from Facebook’s control. The problem is that Facebook is designed to make things difficult for people who wants to leave the platform. Facebook keeps a lot of data, even after you have deleted your profile. The social media giant is regularly updating its privacy policies and just because you select the option to delete your account, that doesn’t mean that all the information that was available in your profile will be completely gone. For instance, you can deactivate your account within a few steps, but that doesn’t delete your data. You can log into your account at a later stage and all the information will be retrieved. However, if you delete your account, you won’t be able to access it in the future and it won’t be possible to retrieve the content. In this article, we will tell you how you can completely delete your Facebook account without leaving any trace behind.
Deactivating your account is very easy and the reason for that is that Facebook prefers that you deactivate your account, instead of deleting it. The option to deactivate your account is not difficult to find and you can activate your account again at any stage. You just need to log in to it with your credentials and continue using it as normal. Deactivating the account is a good solution if you are not completely sure that you want to leave Facebook for good. If you change your mind after deactivation, you can access your account and all your information will still be there. Keep in mind that while your account is deactivated, your friends won’t see your profile and won’t be able to send you messages, unless you continue using Messenger on your phone. Here are the steps to deactivate your account:
- Go to Settings
- Select General at the top of the left-hand menu
- Click on Manage your account and scroll down to where you see the option to deactivate.
Delete linked apps
Facebook allows you to log into other applications very easily by using your Facebook account. You can access Instagram, Spotify and Pinterest within seconds and while that is very convenient, it also puts your privacy at risk since you are handing over information whenever you use this option. By using Facebook to log into other apps, you are granting others access to your personal data. In order to fully free yourself from Facebook’s domain, you need to remove the apps that are associated to your Facebook account. In order to do this, you can follow the below steps:
- First you need to click on the arrow that appears in the top-right hand corner of the Facebook page.
- Then choose Settings and click on Apps that are located in the column on the left-hand side of the page.
- Click the edit button that is located under “Apps, websites and plug-ins”. After disabling the platform, it is possible to delete the apps associated to your account.
How to delete activity history
First, you will have to clear up all traces of your online footprints. You just need to go to the downward arrow menu, select Activity Log and with the edit button, just delete or unlike each action listed in your log.
Back up your data
In order to keep the data that is associated to your Facebook account, including the photos that you have posted and your list of friends, you need to start by downloading a backup of the account information. To do this, just go to your settings menu, then in General Account Settings, select the option that lets you download a copy of all your data.
After that, you will get an email with a link to your download archive. The archive can be saved into your Download folder on your PC and it is a zip file that includes all your photos and html files with a list of your friends, advertisers and more. All this data shows the extent of Facebook’s control over your activities.
Delete Facebook account
If you are fed up with Facebook and want to leave it behind forever, you will come across some challenges if you try to delete your account. You will need to click on the help menu to find the “delete account” option. Once you find the answer, you will find a link that says “let us know”. Just click this link and you will be redirected to a page in which you will be able to delete your account permanently. You just need to click on delete my account, enter your password and enter the captcha. The problem is that even after doing that, there are more steps to complete in order to forget about Facebook. After deleting your account, Facebook will keep your information and it will postpone the deletion for 14 days, in the hopes that you decide that you want to continue your Facebook account after all. If within 14 days since you sent the deletion request, you access Facebook, the deletion will be canceled and you will be once again, a Facebook user.
Facebook makes it difficult for users to leave the platform and even after you delete your account, your digital footprints remain. Still, there are ways to leave Facebook for good so that you can focus on living your life in the real world.