Just in the last week or so there were two major issues with Facebook. It gave Amazon, Spotify and Netflix access to users’ private messages and a bug exposed private photos of 6.8 million users. And this is not even scratching the tip of the iceberg. Here’s a list of Facebook scandals and controversies in 2018.
Facebook owns many many things. It’s not just Facebook.com. But the most popular services are Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp. Delete them…
Let’s start with Facebook. Deleting your Facebook account is easy in theory, but in practice it will take some time so be patient and alert.
Before you delete your account:
1. Delete Facebook apps from your smartphone(s) and tablet(s) ( this includes Instagram and WhatsApp ). Also turn off Facebook integration ( if present ) on your smartphone(s) or tablet(s)
2. Switch account log-in on apps that use Facebook to login to. ( for example Spotify )
3. Login to Facebook and revoke app permissions ( for example to Spotify )
4. Download a copy of your Facebook information.
NOTE 1: Deleting messages, can be time consuming. However, you should know that deleting the messages on your side will NOT delete the messages on the recipient’s side.
NOTE 2: Make sure you choose to permanently delete your Facebook page. ‘Unpublish’ will only hide it. It may take up to 14 days for the deletion to complete and you may have to confirm the permanent deletion.
NOTE 3: when deleting your photos also make sure you untag yourself from other people’s photos.
5. You might want to write a post on your wall announcing that you are deleting your Facebook and ask the hundreds and hundreds of “friends” to delete any photos that you are in and also delete their conversations with you.
Now let’s delete Facebook…
You can easily delete your Facebook account on this page. That’s it. Well, not really… while you are almost done, you have to know the following:
1. Once you initiate the deletion there’s a two week “deactivation” period. IF, at any point during those two weeks, you will log in to Facebook or allow any app to access Facebook, you will cancel the deletion request.
2. Facebook will try everything in its power to get you back. DO NOT be fooled, ignore all the emails and any tricks Facebook may have up its sleeve. A good tip here is to change your password to something you can’t possibly remember before deleting your account. Ignore all the “guilt trips”.
Now let’s delete Instagram….
1. You might want to download a copy of all your Instagram data before deleting your account. To do that, go to your profile and on the top right corner tap on the hamburger button. Tap on settings and scroll down until you see “Data download” ( it’s under “Privacy and Security”.
2. To permanently delete your account:
- Go to the Delete Your Account page. If you’re not logged into Instagram on the web, you’ll be asked to log in first. You can’t delete your account from within the Instagram app.
- Select an option from the drop-down menu next to Why are you deleting your account? and re-enter your password. The option to permanently delete your account will only appear after you’ve selected a reason from the menu.
- Click or tap Permanently delete my account.
Now let’s delete WhatsApp….
- Open WhatsApp.
- Tap the Menu Button > Settings > Account > Delete my account.
- Enter your phone number in full international format and tap Delete my account.
A very good replacement for WhatsApp is Signal.
Now that you’ve deleted the most used Facebook products, and you’re finally free, you need to make sure Facebook isn’t tracking you anymore. If you didn’t know, Facebook tracks even non-users. How to do that?
- Clear your cookies on both your computer(s) and on your smartphone(s) and tablet(s)
- On your smartphone(s) and tablet(s) you should reset your advertising identifier ( you should do this anyway from time to time ). On your iOS you can reset the advertising identifier from Settings > Privacy > Advertising ( turn on Limit Ad Tracking ).
- On smartphone(s) and tablet(s) use an ad-blocker. On iOS you can use AdGuard Pro as it allows you to manually block trackers and add host files.
- Block Facebook via host file. Here’s a good list. You can add it in AdGuard too. On macOS you can use GasMask and create a new combined host file that includes the original file and the one blocking Facebook. GasMask doesn’t allow https remote files yet. Apparently there’s a fix and will be implemented in a future update.
- Use Firefox on your computer ( and Android. You can use it on iOS too however Firefox on iOS isn’t as robust as on Android – thanks Apple ) and use add-ons like uMatrix to block scripts. Also use uBlock Origin as your adblocker addon.