How to deactivate/delete your social media accounts

How to deactivate/delete your social media accounts

Over half the world has social media accounts! Social media platforms offer creative and fun ways to stay in touch with our loved ones. So why would you want to delete social media? Whether you want your free time back or do not like your personal info scattered about on the internet, you may be considering deactivating some accounts.

Search engines like Google index social media content to serve up to anyone that looks for it. Most people give up their full names, email addresses, home addresses and often more to sign up for accounts and in turn, that information is readily available for anyone looking at the top of search results.

This guide will help you remove yourself from social media permanently and delete your social media accounts from the 4 most common platforms including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and TikTok.

How to delete or deactivate your account from Facebook

Via Desktop

There are two ways to remove yourself from Facebook; deactivation or deletion.

•Log in then click the downward triangle (▾) at the top right-hand corner. 

•Select Settings & Privacy > Settings.

•Click Your Facebook Information in the left column.

•Click Deactivation

•Continue to Account Deactivation and follow the instructions to confirm.

Via Mobile

•Tap the three horizontal bars (☰) menu.

•Scroll down and tap Settings, then tap Personal and Account Information.

•Tap Account Ownership and Control.

•Tap Deactivation and Deletion, then select Delete Account. Here, as above, you can choose to deactivate your account or delete it.

•Tap Continue to Account Deletion, then tap Delete Account.

You can reactivate your account at any time by logging back into Facebook or by using your Facebook account to log in somewhere else. You will need to have access to the email or mobile number you use to log in to complete the reactivation.

Please note: Some things may remain visible (for example private messages you have sent).

Deactivation is an effective way to test the waters and see if you can live without Facebook. Give it a few months and see how you feel. When you are ready to say goodbye to your account forever, delete it. To do so, follow the same steps for deactivation, but choose Delete account when given the option. As far as your friends are concerned, you will disappear immediately. However, Facebook may take up to 90 days (about 3 months) to fully erase all your data. Once you do that, there is no going back.

How to deactivate your account from Twitter

Twitter doesn’t allow you to delete your account outright; they say that you must, first, deactivate the account, and that deactivation lasts 30 days or 12 months. While technically this isn’t different from the way Facebook and others work, the fact that they don’t allow you to delete the account is a bit annoying.

When you delete a Twitter account, you lose your username, but you cannot deactivate the account for longer than 30 days or 12 months, so if you think you might want to use Twitter again, you will need to log in to the account before the 30-day or 12-month period is over, then deactivate it again. After the selected period, the account is deleted.

•On a web browser, sign into Twitter

•Click on the ellipsis (•••) icon, then Settings and privacy. Alternatively, in the Twitter app: Tap your avatar, then Settings and privacy.

•From the Account tab, click on Deactivate your account at the bottom of the page.

•Read the account deactivation information, then click Deactivate @username.

•Choose the reactivation period: 30 days or 12 months.

•Enter your password when prompted and confirm that you want to proceed by clicking the Deactivate account button.

How to deactivate/delete your account from Instagram

Instagram is also owned by Facebook, and, as with the Facebook service, you can choose to temporarily disable your Instagram account if you wish. Even though it is such a mobile-first service, like Twitter, Instagram does not let you delete your account through the app. Instead, you will have to log into your Instagram account via the web to delete it.

To deactivate your account

•Go to your profile page

•Select Edit Profile

•Temporarily Disable My Account.

To delete your account

•Visit https://www.instagram.com/accounts/remove/request/permanent/ 

•If you are not signed in yet, you will be prompted to sign into your account before continuing

•Select a reason for deleting your account.

How to delete your Pinterest account

•In a web browser, click Settings, then Account Settings in the left sidebar

•Tap Account Changes then Close Account.

•On the mobile app, tap the gear icon at the top right of the screen, then tap Account Settings.

•Tap Close Account.

•Explain why you want to close the account, then click or tap Next.

•Click or tap Send Email; Pinterest requires that you confirm the account deletion by clicking or tapping a link in the confirmation email.

•If you want to close a business account, Pinterest says that you may need to contact support for assistance.

When you close your account, Pinterest deactivates your public profile, but waits 14 days before fully deleting the account. If you wish to keep the account, log into Pinterest, and you’ll receive a link by email to reactivate the account.

How to delete your Tiktok account

You are only able to permanently delete your account on TikTok.

•Go to Profile tab, then tap the three horizontal bars (☰)

•Tap the Settings icon in the top right corner.

•Tap Manage my Account > Delete Account.

•Follow the steps in the app to delete your account.

Once you delete your account it is permanent and cannot be recovered at any point. You will no longer be able to log in, all videos will be lost and purchased items. Shared information and messages may still be visible to other

What is Data Broker?  

What is Data Broker?  

A Data Broker is a business that collects information from a variety of sources; processes it to enrich, cleanse or analyze it; and licenses it to other organizations.  

Data brokers can also give license to another company’s data directly or process another organization’s data to provide them with enhanced results. Data typically is not “sold”, but rather it is licensed for particular or limited uses. (A data broker is also sometimes known as an information broker, syndicated data broker, or information product company). 

How are they getting your information?  

You might be surprised at how much of your personal information is freely available to the companies that want it. Data broker companies don’t need to work overly hard to find your data. 

Data brokers collect most of their information from public records. Public records include things like voter registration information, census data, birth certificates, property records, vehicle registration records, marriage licenses, and divorce records. Brokers also either collect or purchase data from credit card providers and retailers. This includes such information as the amount of money you owe on your department store credit card, the type of coupons you tend to use, and the items you’ve purchased in the past after swiping a store’s loyalty card. 

If you spend a lot of time on social media or in the online world, you’re giving data brokers even more information about you. Data brokers might nab personal information from the posts you’ve made or ‘liked’ online, online quizzes you’ve taken, online sweepstakes you’ve entered, and the websites you’ve visited. 

How is your information used?  

Selling your information hasn’t proved too difficult for data brokers. That’s because these companies have plenty of potential customers eager to purchase your information. 

Some of these buyers will use your information to create online ads that are targeted specifically to you. Others will use it to determine how likely it is that you’ll default on a personal loan. Still, others might use it to determine how likely it is that you will file an insurance claim or get into an auto accident. 

Is Data Brokerage legal in the U.S.?

Data Brokerage is considered legal as there is no federal law in the United States that regulates the data broker industry. As a result, private companies invade our private lives, spy on our families, and gather our most intimate facts, on a mass scale, for profit.

What can you do to protect your personal information from data brokers?  

You can’t completely make yourself invisible to data brokers. But there are steps you can take to at least reduce the amount of information they can collect on you. 

1. Opt-out from People Search Sites  

Most large-scale people search sites allow you to opt out from their databases, if you’re not familiar with these sites, you can start by searching your name in search engines such as Google or Bing.  

Once you identified these sites containing your personal information, simply visit their opt-out pages and submit a request for removal, each broker site has its own process and requirements to process your removal request – some websites need you to fill out forms; others require emails, and others request receiving confirmation codes via robocalls. 

2. Adjust your Social Media Privacy Settings

Social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter serve as key sources for data mining. Therefore, one of the easiest and best measures to protect your data is to adjust your privacy settings. All major social media platforms allow you to customize your settings and choose who can view your profile and posts. You can also prevent others from searching for you by using your email address or phone number. Even the settings of your activity logs that are kept by the social media platforms can be deleted and adjusted to suit your privacy preferences. You can also review posts where you are tagged since all these provide valuable information for data brokers if left unguarded.

Another crucial step is to remove anyone you are unfamiliar with from your friend list and always validate friend requests before accepting them. According to studies, around 25% of users have fake social media accounts, which means you never know who you are becoming friends with on social networks. 

Follow some of the basic best practices to keep your data safe on social media platforms. Be mindful of what you share and avoid the impulse to overshare. Be familiar with the privacy and data sharing policies of social networks and delete any unused profiles you may have.

3. Sign up with the Do Not Call Registry

Telemarketers and robocalls could be a common nuisance, especially when you get repeated calls at those busy moments. While they usually don’t seek your prior consent to include your number in their databases, they would still need to comply with the National Do Not Call Registry.

 Therefore, registering your home and mobile phone numbers with the Do Not Call Registry will help you to opt-out of marketers’ phone databases. This is a free service offered by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to protect consumer privacy and rights. And if you are still getting calls after registering your number, you can lodge a complaint with the FTC. 

4. Use a Data Removal Service

Requesting for your information to be deleted from numerous data brokers and people search sites, one by one, can be tedious and you can seek the help of a professional data removal service.

Sites such as DeleteMyInfo can do all the job for you, from searching your profile, deleting them in all major brokers’ sites including google search, and doing continuous monitoring making sure that your information will not appear anymore.

Collecting data, organizing them and creating profiles are usually automated and are done using complex algorithms. This means that once your records are deleted, there’s nothing preventing them from collecting your data again and creating another profile later. Therefore, DeleteMyInfo can become very useful and effective since we also offer annual subscriptions to screen your data continuously and to get them wiped off. We also provide quarterly reports of the data that has been removed so that you can keep a tab of the progress.