- Every day, millions of internet users offer their personal information and sensitive data over to websites and platforms like Google, Apple, and Amazon.
- There have been several high-profile data breaches in recent years, raising concerns about the safety of customers’ information when it’s in the hands of companies.
- Here’s how to delete your account on a number of websites and social platforms to make certain that your personal information is safe from data breaches and hackers.
- Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
Forget #DeleteFacebook: If you really want to protect your data, you may want to consider a number of other platforms and websites who have access to your sensitive data.
The massive Facebook hack in 2018 affecting 30 million users led many, including notable celebrities, to delete their accounts en masse. But Facebook is definitely not the only website on the Internet that has a chock-full of data stored on you.
It’s possible that any of the other major websites, apps, and services – Amazon, Apple, Google, even Snapchat – could be next. That fear of what can happen to your information in the hands of third parties has led some to take steps to ensure their data can’t be compromised.
The only way to ensure your sensitive data can’t be compromised is by removing your information from the internet entirely. In other words, if you’re really worried about protecting your data from any future hacks, now is the time to delete your account.
Here’s how to delete your accounts for some of the most major websites, apps, and services:
By deleting your account, you will remove everything you’ve ever put on Facebook- profile information, photos, status updates, timeline posts – but it doesn’t include messages sent via Facebook Messenger.
However, it will take 30 days for your account to actually be deleted. This “grace period” used to be 14 days, but Business Insider reported in late 2018 that Facebook raised it to a month to give users an opportunity to reactivate their account if they get cold feet.
If you don’t want to lose everything you’ve put on Facebook, there is an option to download a copy of all your information. But you have to request this archive before deleting your account, and you’ll have it sent to you via email – if you delete your account before requesting the archive, you’re out of luck.
Follow this link to deactivate (and delete) your Facebook account.
Instagram requires you to delete your account from a web browser instead of through the app, which is where the platform’s full capabilities can be accessed (direct messaging on desktop has just started rolling out to users).
The photo sharing app does have an option to “temporarily disable” an account, but that option isn’t a middle step before deletion, like it is for other social media platforms. In other words, if you opt to temporarily disable your account, you can pick it up again later at your pleasure.
Follow this link to delete your Instagram account.
Of all the websites covered in this article, Amazon by far made it the trickiest to figure out how to delete your account. Here’s the short version: You can’t delete your account on your own – you have to actually contact Amazon and ask for your account to be deleted.
In going through the steps of trying to close an account, the simplest way I figured out to do this is to go right to the Amazon customer support’s “Contact Us” page, and use it to send a message to Amazon. According to the virtual live chat I had with a customer service representative, sending a message through this form will get your account deleted within 12 hours.
Follow this link to access customer support and delete your Amazon account.
TikTok has exploded in popularity in the last couple years, but there are already users who have vowed to delete their accounts and not return to the app.
While mobile apps like Snapchat may make you navigate to a web browser to delete your account, TikTok lets you do this right on the platform. Under the right-most tab on TikTok, where your profile is located, click on the icon in the top-right corner to bring up your “Privacy and settings.” Click on the first option – “Manage my account” – and you’ll find the option to delete your account on the bottom.
You can find step-by-step directions for deleting your TikTok account on its website.
Although Snapchat is a phone app, you’ll need to visit Snapchat’s website on an internet browser to completely delete your account. Simply removing the app from your phone will not delete your information.
Snapchat’s website features an accounts portal, where you can log in to your account and select “delete my account” from the options listed. Snapchat will also first deactivate your account for 30 days in case you change your mind, and also offers you the opportunity to download your data before you delete your account.
Follow this link to deactivate (and delete) your Snapchat account.
WhatsApp may be owned by Facebook, but it has a totally different way to delete your account.
You can delete your WhatsApp account through the messaging app itself. Under “Account” in the Settings tab, you can delete your account easily by typing in your phone number.
You can request a report of your account information, which takes about three days for WhatsApp to prepare. You should wait to actually receive your report before deleting your account, just to be sure.
Twitter maintains a 30-day “grace period” similar to Facebook’s. You have to first deactivate your account, and then wait a month to completely delete your account and all its information.
The option to deactivate (and delete) is found at the bottom of the “Account” tab on your Settings and Privacy page. Like Facebook, you can also download all your data before deleting your account.
Follow this link to deactivate your Twitter account.
Trying to figure out how to delete your Apple account can be a difficult process, but it’s actually quite simple once you know where to look: the privacy page for your account on Apple’s website.
Remember that your Apple account is associated with any iPhone or Mac you own, and is how you access any service associated with your Apple ID: iCloud, iMessage, FaceTime, Apple Music, and other subscriptions or content you’ve purchased. You won’t be able to sign in or access any of this content once you delete your account.
Apple also allows you to make a copy of your data, but that doesn’t include your music, books, and app purchases.
Follow this link to deactivate your Apple account.
Between search, email, documents, and much more, it’s an understatement to say that Google stores a lot of your private information.
The easiest way to go about deleting your Google account is to make sure you’re logged in, and click the “Data & personalisation” tab from your Google Account home page. Scroll down to find a section titled “Download or delete your data,” and click on “delete a service or your account.” Under this tab, you’ll be able to delete your entire Google account, or a particular Google-associated service.
Choosing to delete your Google account will bring you to a page like the one pictured above. The page lists out the content from your various connected services – including Gmail and Google Photos – that will also be deleted with your Google Account. On this page, you also have the option to download your data before deleting your account.
If you’re looking for apps and services you can use instead,check out this list and get ready to ditch Google.
Follow this link to deactivate your Google account.
If you’re uncomfortable deleting your entire Google account, there’s an option to delete profiles associated with Google-linked services, such as Gmail, Google Pay, and YouTube.
The “Data & personalisation” tab on your Google Account home page is where you can choose to delete your Google account or an associated service. Scroll down to find a section titled “Download or delete your data,” and click on “delete a service or your account.” Under this tab, you’ll be able to select a particular Google-associated service to delete.
It’s important to note that deleting your account will also delete content, whether that’s emails or uploaded videos.
Follow this link to deactivate your YouTube account, or any other Google-associated account.
Finding the page for deleting your Microsoft account is incredibly difficult if you don’t know where you’re going. Luckily, we have the link directly to the page for closing your account, which can be found on a page for Microsoft account support.
The website makes your manually check off a list of what happens when you close your account, but it’s just more taxing than anything.
Microsoft has a similar option to Google, which lets review all the services you use that are connected to your account, since those are affected when you delete this data. This includes Windows devices, Outlook email, Skype, and the Microsoft Office suite. You can also choose to download all your data before you “mark” your account for closure.
Microsoft’s grace period between request and actually deleting your account is 60 days.
Follow this link to deactivate your Microsoft account.
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