In short: Facebook has just revised the number of people that were affected in its latest security breach. It is now around 30 million people, which is lower than the original number Facebook announced last week of 50 million. This comes just a few months after the huge Cambridge Analytica scandal surfaced earlier this year, that affected virtually everyone. Facebook says that a bug in the "View As" feature allowed hackers to get names and contact information from around 30 million users. Obviously it's not the biggest security breach out there - considering most of that information is public for people to get. But it just goes to show you that Facebook is really not serious about keeping your information safe. Which makes it a good time to download your data from Facebook and close your account. And today, we are going to show you exactly how to do just that.
How to Delete Your Facebook Account
To delete your Facebook account, you are going to want to go to your account settings. This is done by clicking on the down arrow on the right side of the toolbar at the top, and clicking on "Settings".
After that, you will want to click on "Your Facebook Information" which should be the third option down on the left-hand side of the page. This will show you a number of other settings that you can adjust. And of course, you are going to want the "Delete Your Account and Information" which is the bottom option. This is where you can permanently delete your Facebook account and information.
Before Facebook will let you completely delete your account, it will let you know about a few things. This includes the fact that you won't be able to use Messenger any longer. If you do use Messenger to connect with your friends or family, or use it for SMS on your Android smartphone, then you may want to consider the "Deactivate Account" option instead. Facebook will also let you know that you have a lot of pictures and posts on Facebook, and ask if you want to download your information - which we'll go over a bit more in a second. When it comes to pages, it will let you know which pages you are the only Admin for, and that these pages will no longer be published if you delete or deactivate your account. If you want to keep those Facebook Pages running, you will need to add an additional admin. Finally there is the part about apps. If you have created any apps and you are listed as the only developer for those apps, they will also be deleted with your account. So to keep those apps running, you will want to add an additional developer to those apps on Facebook.
If you still want to delete your account, simply select blue "Delete Account" button at the bottom. From there it will ask for your password again before it will delete your account. Now this is to make sure that it is indeed you deleting this account and not someone else.
After you have done this, your account is still not permanently deleted. Facebook gives you a grace period of 30 days (it used to be 14 days) where if you change your mind, you can come back to your Facebook account and none of your information has been deleted.
How To Download Your Facebook Data
To download your information from Facebook, you will follow the first few steps above. This includes clicking on that arrow at the top right-hand corner of Facebook and selecting "Settings".
From there, you will want to select "Your Facebook Information" which is the third option down on the left-hand side. Then click on "Download Your Information". Once you've done that, you will be taken to a page that shows the information that you can download. Facebook also explains what this page is all about. Essentially, you can download a copy of your Facebook information at any time. You can choose to download all of it, or just some of it. The information will be put into an HTML document or JSON, depending on which you wish to use. Facebook also notes that this information will still be password-protected, and only you will have access to this information. Once the file is created, you will be able to download it for "a few days".
From here, you can choose what you would like to download. Of course, the most common information here will be your posts, as well as photos and videos. But you can also download comments (that you've posted on your posts, other people's posts and group posts), likes and reactions, friends, following and followers, messages, groups, events, profile information, pages, marketplace, payment history, saved items, your places, apps and websites, and other activity. But wait there's more you can download. You can also download: ads, search history, location history, calls and messages, about you, and Security and login information. Once you have selected everything that you want to download, make sure that the date range is correct, as well as the file format and media quality. You will most likely want to use the HTML option for format, with media being downloaded in high quality. Then you'll want to click on the blue "Create File" button.
Depending on how large your file is, it may take a few hours to complete (for example, our file shown above was about 613MB in size, and took about 20 minutes to get ready to download). Facebook will notify you, via a notification on Facebook's website/app and via an email to the email address associated with your account, once the file is ready for download. And from there you can download your information and delete your Facebook account without leaving all of those memories behind.
Background: Facebook has continued to show that it doesn't really care about its users' privacy. Security breaches really aren't anything new, but it is still a serious thing. Facebook has had security breach after security breach after security breach, and it hasn't shown the public that it is really serious about clamping down on these breaches and protecting its users' privacy. So many are opting to delete their Facebook account, as they should.
Impact: Deleting your Facebook account means that you can spend less time on your smartphone or laptop, and perhaps get some actual work done. It will also get rid of the stress and anxiety associated with Facebook, so this could really turn out to be a great thing for those that do decide to delete their Facebook account.