Delete Your Facebook Account Permanently – The recent announcement by Facebook that attackers obtained access tokens for an undisclosed number of Facebook accounts is significant because it is the type of hack that you, a satisfied Facebook user, could not avoid.
Do you have a nice, strong password? That’s really cool. It wouldn’t have made a difference. Instead of receiving a login code via text message, set up two-factor authentication using an app. This is fantastic. Continue to do so. It’s still possible that your account has been hacked.
Do you want Facebook to notify you if someone else tries to access your account? Do you search your “Where You’re Logged In” listing on a regular basis to make sure only you have access to your account? All excellent security practices; all completely ineffective in dealing with Facebook’s new “access token” problem, according to Guy Rosen, Facebook’s vice president of product management, in a September 28 press call:
How to Delete your Facebook Account
It’s simple to delete your Facebook account. However, I’m not sure that the treatment accomplishes all you want it to. Yeah, your account will be deleted, and people will no longer be able to tag you in pictures. Yes, Facebook can remove all of the information linked to your account. Is it, however, really that effective? Is that true? I’m positive, but cautiously so.
To get started, simply go to the “Delete Your Account and Information” choice and press the “Delete” button. Don’t log into your Facebook account while Facebook deletes all of your data from its servers, which could take up to 90 days. Now, your account will be permanently deleted, along with all of your records, one hopes.
Try to Take a More Nuanced Approach to Account Deletion.
As I said, it’s simple to deactivate your account, but there’s no way of knowing if Facebook isn’t saving any of the details you’ve provided it. Or, even worse, that your friends aren’t assisting Facebook in building a shadow profile for you—some hidden chunk of relevant data that Facebook might easily link with your personal information if you ever chose to rejoin the service.
I realize this sounds a little tin-foil-hat, and there’s no way of knowing if Facebook isn’t archiving every single data you ever send to the service, rendering any efforts to obfuscate or erase it useless. In today’s digital environment, however, I believe it is appropriate to be more cynical than welcoming. This is how I will delete my Facebook account today;
- Download all of my Facebook data because you never know when you’ll need it again (and you might want the memories, too).
- Remove any third-party applications or services where I’ve logged in with my Facebook account (or otherwise associated with my Facebook account). As a bonus, any other bugs found between now and the deletion of your account by Facebook can ideally prevent an attacker from gaining access to your account and preventing the deletion phase.
- I’d log out of any and all devices that have accessed Facebook.
- I’d remove all authorized devices that can log into Facebook without a special login code.
- I’d delete any special app passwords I’ve created.
- I’d consider using an extension to batch-delete my Facebook timeline (just for added peace of mind), but I probably wouldn’t do this, given how long it might take.
- I’d delete my location history (three-dot icon in the upper-right corner).
- I’d delete any contacts I ever uploaded to Facebook.
- I’d turn off Face Recognition (just in case).
- I’d delete any payment details I’ve saved on Facebook (including credit cards). Any related email addresses will also be deleted.
- I’d begin to muddle my facts. Since there’s no way of knowing if Facebook holds data you’ve modified, it’s a bit of “protection theater.” (I’m sure it does.) Still, swapping your Facebook email address to something fresh and temporary, removing your phone number, ditching your address, and deleting (or changing) any other vital details that others could know about you—information that Facebook may potentially extract from them to retain a secondary profile of your deleted self, as I mentioned earlier—doesn’t take much time.