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If you’re reading this, chances are you’re one of over 1.59 billion people worldwide who uses Facebook. The social networking giant isn’t showing any signs of slowing down, with an average of five new profiles created every second and 300 million photos uploaded daily. Because Facebook is such an integral part of people’s lives, the very thought of giving it up can be terrifying. But what if you wanted to step away?
Well, for those of you who are bold enough to sacrifice Facebook for a little more internet privacy, this tutorial will teach you how to permanently delete your Facebook account.
Note: You cannot reactivate a deleted Facebook account. If you only want to step away from Facebook temporarily, you should deactivate your account instead.
Have you ever stopped to wonder how private Facebook is? What steps do they take to ensure your privacy?
Facebook actually collects a lot of information about you. This includes:
- Basic account information: your name, username, password, email address, and phone number
- Information surrounding content: Facebook collects information about the content you create and share while using their services. This also includes information in or about what you share and who you share it with. Similarly, if someone shares information about you (e.g. a photo of you), Facebook collects that too.
- Information surrounding connections: Facebook gathers information about the people and groups you are connected to. This includes any contact information you upload, sync, or import from a personal device.
- Payment information: if you complete a transaction through a service owned by Facebook, your payment information (e.g. card number, billing address, etc.) will be stored by Facebook.
How does Facebook use my information?
After collecting your information, Facebook may use it in the following ways:
- Advertising: Facebook will use the information gathered about you to show you targeted marking communications and promotions.
- Sharing to third parties: Facebook works with a range of third-parties, which makes it possible that some of your data will be given to them. For example, if you play a game that uses a Facebook sign-in, the game developer will get access to information on your Facebook profile as well as data about your interactions with friends in the game.
- Personalize your experience: Based on your interactions on Facebook, the platform may suggest different events for you to attend or different people to connect with.
Is it safe to use Facebook?
In a word, yes. Facebook does allow you to manage the information you share. But the best form of defense against privacy breaches is a vigilant mindset.
How to download your Facebook info
Before deleting your Facebook account (forever!), you may want to download your info first.
Step 1: Go to https://www.facebook.com/settings.
Once you’ve completed the process, Facebook will email you your personal archive when it is ready.
How to delete your Facebook account
Step 3: Complete the verifications required, then click OK.
And that’s it! You’ve deleted your Facebook account (forever!)
Do more to protect your internet privacy
Now if you REALLY want to step up your internet privacy game, here are more steps you can take.
- Use ExpressVPN. While “pausing” Google Web & App History prevents Google from collecting data about you, it doesn’t prevent your ISP from tracking what you’re doing online and potentially sharing it with corporations and governments. To hide your online activity from your ISP, use a VPN like ExpressVPN.
- Use Tor Browser. Tor hides your location and online activities from anybody doing network surveillance or traffic analysis, so your internet activity is difficult to trace back to you. It’s one of your best bets for maintaining anonymity online. To maximize the effectiveness of Tor, be sure to read these tips: Want Tor to really work?
Safe browsing, everyone!
Want more help with de-cluttering your online life? Check out ExpressVPN’s guides on: