If you’re like most people, an overwhelming amount of your online life is spent on Facebook. In addition to status updates and photo/video sharing, the internet giant has entered the instant messaging arena, turning Facebook’s messaging function into a standalone app.
For those of you who want to keep your messaging out of Facebook’s reach, this article will show you how to remove Facebook Messenger from your smartphone.
What information does Facebook collect from you as you use their services? The list 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.
What permissions does Facebook Messenger require?
In order to provide the full extent of its features, Facebook Messenger requires:
- Camera permissions: Facebook Messenger needs access to your camera in order for you to send a photo to a friend directly through the app.
- Microphone permissions: Similarly, Facebook Messenger needs to access your microphone in order for you to voice call a friend via the app.
- Contacts permissions: This is required if you want to be able to call a contact through the app or add a contact on your phone as a messenger contact.
Is it safe to use Facebook Messenger?
In a word, yes. With the ability to send encrypted “secret messages“, Facebook Messenger is serviceable for private conversations. That said, do remain vigilant and beware of what you are sharing and with whom you are sharing content with.
How to remove Facebook Messenger on Android
Step 1: From your home screen, access the Google Play Store by tapping on the Store’s icon.
Step 2: In the Google Play Store, search for “Facebook Messenger“.
Step 3: Tap on Messenger (by Facebook) from the search results to open the app’s Play Store page.
Step 4: On the Play Store page for Facebook Messenger, tap on UNINSTALL.
Step 5: You will be asked to confirm the deletion. Tap OK. Facebook Messenger will be uninstalled from your phone.
How to remove Facebook Messenger on iOS
Step 1: From your home screen, tap and hold the Facebook Messenger icon until you see the icons start to shake.
Step 2: Tap on the small “x” in the top-left corner of the icon to uninstall the Facebook Messenger app.
Step 3: You will be asked to confirm the deletion. Tap Delete. Facebook Messenger will be uninstalled from your phone.
Do more to protect your internet privacy
Wondering what else you can do to enhance your internet privacy? Here are some 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: