You want to delete your Facebook account because you just applied to the dream job or maybe you can’t stand anymore Facebook with your depressed friends status? Whatever are your reasons, escaping the social networking giant can be a lot more complicated than you would think. There are necessary steps you should take before pressing that delete account button.
Remember, deleting your account is very different from deactivating your account. You can deactivate your account at any point, and when you want to return everything is as you left it. While your account is deactivated, people on Facebook will not be able to search for you, but some information like messages you’ve sent may still be visible to others.
If you permanently delete your account, you will not be able to regain access to your account again, ever. Most personally identifiable information is removed from the Facebook database, but some may remain such as your name if you sent a message to someone else.
If you’re planning to delete your Facebook account permanently, read on to learn about what 5 steps you should take first.
Step 1. Don’t forget to save your friend’s birthdays
Be proactive in reaching out to your friends and tell them that you are deleting your Facebook account, but would still like to remember their birthday. You could include a disclaimer at the top telling people that you’re just using it to gather all of your friends’ birthdays before you delete your account.
Step 2. Save your friend’s contact details
Before deleting your account, make sure that you have other ways to keep in touch with your friends, whether that is through email, texting or phone calls. Download that contact information for anyone you’re worried about losing contact with.
Step 3. Check your apps connected to Facebook
There are a lot of apps and websites that require you to log in using your Facebook username and password, and when you delete your Facebook account you lose access to these sites as well. You can check this by clicking on your Account Settings, then Apps in the left column. Popular apps that use Facebook login are Pinterest, Pandora, Foursquare, Spotify and Instagram. Some apps allow you to change your form of log in by using your email address or Twitter handle, for example. However, there are some sites that don’t let you decouple your Facebook account from their app, like Spotify.
The big lesson here is to make sure your connected apps will let you change your form of login before you deactivate your Facebook account. You won’t be able to change anything retroactively. If you have already deactivated your Facebook account and you can’t login to these connected apps, you could reactivate your Facebook account and follow the steps listed above.
Step 4. Backup your information
There are some really good social media backups available. I haven’t tried them (my Facebook account is still online so I didn’t have to use them). But you can try those for free: SocialSafe, Mobotalks and Frostbox.
Step 5. Optimise your SEO
If you’re leaving the Facebook community, make sure you are still active on enough other social platforms to maximize your SEO. You want to make sure that you are still searchable by friends or potential employers. Be very active on Twitter, Google + and LinkedIn.
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