What you need to know and do before deleting your Facebook account

This week it was revealed that a misuse of Facebook user data by voter profiling company Cambridge Analytica has raised red flags about Facebook’s failure to apprehend the parties at fault sooner and protect our information.

If this has left you disappointed and you decide to shut down your Facebook, here’s what you need to know and do:

Check what permissions you’ve given third-party apps on Facebook. Then, give your privacy settings a refresh.

Deactivating your account is not the same as deleting it.

This is the best option for anyone who thinks they may want to log in at a later point and still have their profile intact. When you deactivate your account, it essentially becomes invisible: Friends can’t search for you or look at your timeline. However, your name might still be visible on a friend’s contact list or in shared messages. Whenever you decide to log in and reactivate your account, your profile will appear again with all your data still there.

To deactivate your account, tap the menu icon in the bottom righthand corner. Then select Settings > Account settings > General > Manage account > Deactivate your account.
You can — and should — save all your data before deleting your account.

If you do decide to delete your entire account, there’s no going back. Regardless of when you first got a Facebook account, you probably have a lot of photos, friends, and posts you’d like to keep for memory’s sake. Fortunately, it’s easy to download all of that, as well as a list of your work history, and a log of all the events you ever RSVP’d to and attended.

Yes, you can still use Messenger.

Messenger is its own standalone app. As of 2015, you don’t need a Facebook account to use it. If you delete your account, open Messenger and choose the “not on Facebook” option from the login screen. Enter your phone number, and you’ll be able to send messages, make calls, and proceed with life as usual — Facebook or no Facebook.

Sending relaxing Sunday vibes! 💋

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