Without a doubt, Facebook is the largest networking website today. It keeps you connected with your old friends, helps you create new friendships, and enables you to communicate easily and conveniently with people all over the world. However, sometimes this social site can be addictive and a bad influence. Because of that, you might have tried to quit Facebook permanently but only succeeded in deactivating it temporarily.
Do you know how much Facebook knows about your personal and social life? Many users are misguided to believe that the social media site knows nothing beyond the information they deliberately share on their profiles. The truth is that Facebook collects a lot of your personal data by tracking your browsing patterns. It can establish the location where you regularly browse from, the model of your browsing device, and even your tastes and preferences from the sites you visit and the services you pay for online. Even without you sharing with your friends, Facebook can know which your favorite vacation destinations are, your favorite sports teams, your favorite meals, and your favorite music etc.
Facebook administrators argue that they collect user data so that it can help them to “constantly improve” their services. Well, nothing can be further from the truth. However, recent revelations have shown that Facebook actually shares user data with advertisers who then use it to package their ads in ways that appeal most to the user. That explains why you often see “random” adverts at the top of your news feed. Some are good, some are irritating.
Besides giving your data to advertisers without your consent, Facebook uses your browsing history to establish the content that excites you most so that it can give you the content that you are likely to comment on, like, or even share. Have you ever noted that the things you like most always appear first every time you log in? You might see this as a good thing but be reading the same content over and over limits your options and bars you from learning new things. It can inhibit your personal growth.
Earlier this year, Facebook CEO Mr. Mark Zuckerberg admitted that the company had unethically shared user data with Cambridge Analytica, a digital consultancy that misused that data to advance geopolitical agendas. It is said that up to 87 million people had their data improperly shared. This data was used to create political adverts that played a big role in the campaigns around Brexit as well as in Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential poll triumph.
As new details on this mega tech scandal continue to emerge, like data sharing with Chinese companies, we can only draw one conclusion: the data you entrust to Facebook is not as safe as you thought.
There is no denying that your reasons to delete your Facebook account permanently are valid. However, it’s wise to pause first and consider other available options that can help you secure your personal data on social media. Locking down your Facebook privacy settings is one such option. Proceed as follows:
From the account menu (the down arrow the top right of your screen)
After locking your privacy settings, you can improve your Facebook experience further by filtering out the stories and posts that you dislike. Facebook ranks your news feeds in the order of “what excites you most”. If you don’t like what the site chooses for you, go to “News Feed Preferences” and then unfollow people/pages you dislike. Better still, you can create a list of your favorite feeds and then prioritize them to appear first every time you log in.
This should be the second last option for you before making the ultimate decision to delete your Facebook account permanently. As we will see later on, deactivating is basically a temporary account deletion. Your friends will stop seeing your account online after you deactivate it, but your information therein remains in Facebook’s data archives.
To deactivate your account, click on Menu > Settings > General > Manage Account > Deactivate Account.
If you ever reconsider your decision and decide to reactivate your account, Facebook will only require you to login with the same login details you had used in the deactivation process.
Unlike in account deactivation where you can go back and pick up from where you had left, deleting your account is a permanent and irreversible process. Your only chance of a comeback is through a new account, building another profile from scratch. That said, you must be convinced beyond any reasonable doubt that you are completely done with your current Facebook account before deleting it.
Before you let go of your Facebook account, perhaps you should reflect back on the memories saved therein and what it would be like to live without them. To make sure that you will never regret your decision later in life, we have compiled a list of three things that you must do before hitting the delete button. They include:
Proceed as follows: Menu > Support Inbox > Safety Center > Help Center > Managing Your Account > Deactivating or Deleting Your Account > How Do I Permanently Delete My Account > Let Us Know . From there, follow the prompts to the end.
Maybe you have multiple Facebook Accounts and your wish is to permanently delete the dormant ones. Unfortunately, you forgot the password to one of the dormant accounts. Don’t freak out just yet because you are yet to exhaust your options. Simply open the Facebook homepage and then click on “Forgot Password”. That will lead you to a page where you will be required to answer some security questions or reset the password via email. You will choose the most convenient option for you. Follow the instructions until you get a new password then delete your account as described earlier.
After submitting a deletion request, your account is temporarily suspended for a maximum of 14 days to create enough room for you to change your mind. If you regret deleting it before the 14 days elapse, you still can log back in and cancel your earlier request. If the 14 days elapse without you showing up, the account is deleted never to be seen again. All the backup data that Facebook had saved you is deleted after a maximum of 90 days from the day the account was deleted.
Why wait for a whole two weeks to get your much-awaited leave? You can delete your Facebook account without waiting for 14 days. Here is how:
Deleting your Facebook account should be your personal decision and not a group resolution. Remember that the platform gives you unlimited opportunities to succeed both socially and professionally. Maybe a potential future employer or love interest could have found you on Facebook. Don’t miss those golden chances because of making a poor decision. Take your time, try all the available option, and only until they are exhausted that you quit Facebook for good.
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