There are a number of really good reasons a person may have to close their Facebook account. Maybe you have privacy concerns or maybe you just don’t like to think about who Facebook has given your information to. Whatever your reason for wanting to delete your account, you need to make sure you do it right – and there’s more than just one trick to it.
Back Up Your Data
Before you close your Facebook account, think about backing up your entire Facebook history. You never know what you might need in the future.
If you’re not sure about deleting your Facebook account, you can deactivate your account instead (Accounts > Settings > Deactivate Account).
Deactivation leaves everything intact: friends, photos, information, etc. In fact, while deactivated, your friends can still invite you to events and you can still receive notifications. In essence, all deactivating does is hide your profile page for a while.
Deactivating is not deleting your Facebook account.
If You Are Ultra-Paranoid
Your reasons for deleting your account will determine how fastidious you want to be about the deletion process. If you’re really paranoid, begin by deleting all your data on Facebook bit by bit. This means you need to delete your account information, interests, photos, updates, messages, applications, notes, links, friend links, groups, fan pages… EVERYTHING.
There is one very good reason for doing this: When Facebook deletes your account, the photos aren’t really deleted. They’re de-linked from your account. Which means they’re still there, but no-one can match them up to you. Deleting photos might do exactly the same thing, but you can still try.
If You’re An Admin
Facebook has ways to determine who takes charge of groups or fan pages after the creator deletes an account. However, you might like to make that decision for yourself. Head to your Group/Page and add a few more admins you trust.
Prepare For Deletion: Ensure You Won’t Log In For Two Weeks
To properly delete your account, you will need to make sure you don’t log in to Facebook for two weeks after the request is made. If you do, Facebook will take it as a sign that you don’t really want to delete your account and they will cancel your deletion request. So you’ll need to make sure there’s no way you can log in accidentally.
Make sure you:
- Delete Facebook Connect applications: Logging in elsewhere with Facebook Connect is an easy way to slip up and accidentally use your Facebook account. So delete every application in Facebook to ensure all Facebook Connect authorisations are removed.
- Don’t use Facebook login anywhere: Don’t accidentally start a new Facebook connect authorisation, eg. Digg, Spotify.
- Remove Facebook from your chat client: Adium, Meebo, Digsby, Trillian, etc.
- Remove Facebook from your Twitter client: Hootsuite, Tweetdeck, Seesmic, etc.
- Delete Facebook applications from your phone and other devices.
- Disconnect linked accounts you might also use to log into Facebook: Google, Yahoo, OpenID, etc. To do this, go to Account > Settings > Linked Accounts and disable all of them.
- Log out of Facebook.
- Delete stored passwords in your browser on all computers you use.
- Delete all your browser cookies on all computers you use.
Schedule Your Account Deletion
Head to this page to ask for your account to be deleted. Look under “How do I permanently delete my account?” and scroll down past the advice to deactivate until you see the “Submit your request here” link. Then you’ll see the “Delete My Account” and you can follow your nose from there to properly close your account.
Wait Two Weeks
Your request for deleting your account is scheduled for two weeks later, in case you change your mind. The account goes into a deactivated state for the two weeks. In that time, all you have to do to cancel your request is to log into Facebook.
Read More On Facebook Privacy
Facebook privacy has been a pretty big issue in the past few years. Mostly because it practically doesn’t exist. Facebook executives are pushing users towards being open with their updates and information, while simultaneously making privacy settings difficult to navigate. This has resulted in many privacy slip ups by users who didn’t really understand their settings.
If you’re unsure about Facebook and think you might benefit from knowing more about Facebook privacy, take a read of the Facebook Privacy Guide (also available in French).
Here’s a few articles you might like:
- 10 Solid Tips to Safeguard Your Facebook Privacy
- 6 Simple Tips To Protect Your Privacy on Facebook
- How To Secure Your Facebook Settings The Easy Way
- 8 Steps To Regain Control Of Your Facebook Privacy
- How to Properly Close a Facebook Account
- How To Tweak Your Facebook Places Security Settings
If you’ve considered deleting your Facebook account, let us know the reasons in the comments. How easy or hard was it to close your Facebook account?
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