These days, Facebook’s habit of using personal data scraped from accounts is reaching a boiling point among users. It’s come to the point where users are noticeably agitated and questioning whether the “free” service is a fair trade for their privacy. If you’re concerned about your privacy, there are three steps you can take. Keep your Facebook profile but remove all traces of embarrassing photos, Likes, and updates; change your content sharing habits; temporarily deactivate your Facebook account; or, of course, delete your Facebook profile altogether.
If you’ve settled on deleting your Facebook profile, here are the steps you should take to scrub your account.
Warning: If you’re dead set on deleting your Facebook profile, there is no turning back after 14 days.
Back up your Facebook data
If you know where to look, back up your Facebook data for posterity. You can do this by following these steps:
- Click on the gear icon at the top of the page.
- Select Account Settings.
- A new page titled “General Account Settings” page should open up. Click on the link to “Download a copy of your Facebook Data,” which you’ll find below “Language.”
- Click on “Start My Archive.”
Remove Linked Accounts
Have you connected to a third-party app using your Facebook app? Maybe you’ve signed up with Pinterest with Facebook, or played a Zynga game. There’s a good chance that you’ve given these apps permission to access your Facebook account.
Go through your Facebook account and remove apps that you’ve given permission to to access your Facebook account. The reason for this is that after you’ve deleted your account, Facebook gives you a 14-day grace period to change your mind. If you log into your account, then the deletion is reversed immediately.
So if you’re intent on completely deleting your profile, you’ll want to minimize the chance that you accidentally log into a Facebook connected third-party site that’s already logged into your Facebook account during these two weeks.
How to access and delete your Facebook apps
Click on the gear icon.
Select “Account Settings” in the drop down list.
Click on “Apps” in the left hand navigation column
You’ll see the apps that you’ve given permission to connect to your Facebook account. Click on the “X” next to the apps that you want to remove permanently.
How to delete your Facebook account permanently
There’s two ways to delete your Facebook account. The first is by filling out a form. It’s quick and the method that we’d recommend. The second is to email Facebook but there’s a chance that your email will get backlogged and that whomever managing the email address won’t get to your email right away.
Delete via Facebook form
- First you’ll need to click on this link, “Delete Account,” which will direct you to a page that asks you if you’re certain about deleting your Facebook account.
- Click on the “Delete My Account” button.
- Fill out the form that pops up. You’ll first need to enter in your password, and then for security reasons type the captcha into the text box.
- Click “Okay.”
- This is the most important step, and so important that we’re going to restate this step for you. DO NOT log into your Facebook account for 14 days. This includes logging into any third-party app that you may have logged in with Facebook but forgot to log out of.
Delete via email
If for one reason or another you’d prefer to reach out to Facebook via email, you can send a message to their representative at email@example.com.