Social media has now become part of everyday life. Whether it’s you actively putting up content on the various sites, such as Facebook, Twitter, or TikTok, or just scrolling through it, it’s used for many things. You use it to see what’s going on in the world, to keep up to date with the latest trends, heck, even to become the latest trend. Or maybe it’s just an opportunity to post up a picture of the pot roast you just made.
Social media has its place; without it, we’d be missing out on so many memes, viral content, and news stories. But if you have accounts but are not actively using them, what are you doing with them?
Keep it up or let it go
If you’re actively using your social media accounts, then that’s great. Most likely, you treat it as you would your active email address or other websites. You’ll be changing your passwords every so often (you do that, right?), not using the same ones, and generally monitoring it to make sure you’re not going to fall foul of any online hacker. But what if you don’t use any of your accounts anymore? Maybe you’ve decided to move away from Facebook as you’re fed up with all the spammy content, and you’re just not interested in what your ‘friends’ have to say. Perhaps you want to play some decent games for once. Many of these social channels have ways to deactivate your content, but it doesn’t necessarily remove everything. In fact, you can sign up again and reinstate all the old content you posted.
It’s important to make sure you remove everything, though, as you’re leaving your digital footprint out there on the internet. And online hackers and cybercriminals only need a footprint to find out more information from you, such as your address, banking details, and other personal information you don’t want people to know. This means when you’re done with a social media account, make sure you delete it the right way.
Okay, so what is the right way?
We’ve taken a look at some of the most popular social media channels today and give you a quick run-through on why you should delete your account if you’re no longer using it.
Say your final tweet – then get rid of your old Twitter account if you’re not using it. This is definitely recommended, especially with all the controversies that surrounded the company. Only in 2019 was Twitter caught using phone numbers and email addresses from people and targeting them with ads. And let’s not forget the hack that saw accounts such as Elon Musk and Bill Gates fall victim, too. Thankfully, all you have to do is log in to your account, head to the settings, and deactivate your account. Simple.
Farewell Facebook – did you know that in January 2020, it was the first time Facebook actually got in touch with its users to advise them to update their password? You’d think they’d be a bit more security conscious, especially with all the Facebook and Instagram passwords they store. Again, just head to your settings and choose ‘deactivation and deletion.’
Dance away from TikTok – no longer feeling the beat? Are you fed up with watching the same dance moves performed over and over again? Jason Derulo songs stuck in your head? The US government has been trying to ban TikTok for fears that China’s using it to spy on its American users. If you’re not using your account, then why not play it safe and delete it? For more information on how to delete a TikTok account, take a read to find out the simple steps. Heads up, it’s under your account!
Fed up with Instagram – then delete your account easily. Just head to your Instagram account section and select the ‘permanently delete my account,’ and there you go. Gone are the likes. And so, too, the Facebook monitoring.
Stop the chat – and get rid of your Snapchat account. It rose to fame in the mid-2010s but now, with more filters on Instagram and the rise of TikTok, it’s waned in popularity. It probably didn’t help that it was also associated with revenge porn or that employees were using software to spy on users. There was quite a bit of bad news, to be fair, which saw many people leaving the platform—but not necessarily deleting their account the right way. You can do that under the account section, though.
Get your data before you go
Before you delete your account, it’s also important to download your data. Then at least you know what information was held, or maybe you just want it as a reminder, in case you decide to go back on again. However, if you want to get rid of your social media accounts, make sure you delete them properly and remove all traces of your digital footprint.