Protecting your identity online is critical to your brand, reputation and creditworthiness, far more important than updating your Instagram and Facebook daily. Several times a year the news will include serious data breaches of information held by major banks, insurance companies and/or social media platforms. Once data is retrieved, it can be misused or even lead to identity theft.
Deleting your old social media accounts is an important step to help ensure some measure of identity protection. It is very important that you keep your online access to your current account safe and secure and delete old accounts.
Here is a guide that will help you delete your old accounts on the most popular social media sites.
Moving to the largest social networking platform of all time, Facebook, with over a billion users, makes things simple and makes it very easy for you to deactivate your account.
After you go to the down arrow “settings” tab in your browser, select your Facebook information and then select delete your account and information. When you are in this menu, you will go to delete your account and have to add a password for Confirmation.
Foursquare came to the internet more than a decade ago to let friends know where you are and find out where they are. To delete your Foursquare account, you must access the platform from your computer. Move to the “privacy” settings tab where you have to scroll to the end of the page and find the option to delete your account. When you select this option, you will go to a page where you need to confirm whether you want to delete your account or not.
Google is the undisputed search engine leader with one of the most interconnected ecosystems. By creating one account for Google, you can access many different apps and websites without having to create separate accounts. To delete your Google+ or Gmail account, you must delete your entire Google account.
Go to “Google account settings” and select “delete account and services”. There you will see a “delete product” option, where you can access all your Google apps. You must first log in to all websites before you can delete your account.
Facebook’s little brother is probably the most used social media platform by Millennials, according to Hootsuite. Thanks to its focus on visual communication, it’s a great place to find talented artists.
Deleting your account is very simple and takes very little time to get it done properly. While you can manage your privacy settings using the mobile app, you will need to go through an internet browser to delete your account. Just go to the “delete your account” page, and there you will have to provide a reason for deleting your account. Once you have provided the reason, you will provide your password and then select the option to permanently delete the account.
LinkedIn is a social network for professionals looking for new opportunities to connect with other professionals and grow their business and career. If you are on the platform, the profile must be complete and up-to-date. If you no longer use the platform, delete the account. In the upper right corner of the LinkedIn page, you’ll need to access the “privacy and settings” tab. From there, select the “account” tab and then select close your LinkedIn account. You must provide feedback and verify your account before you can delete it. From there you will see a post informing you of the consequences of deleting your account and then a final page which will be a confirmation.
This social media platform has been bought and sold several times since its glory days (2005 to 2009). In 2016 their database was breached and leaked to a dark market website. To delete your MySpace account, you will first have to login to the account that you want to delete. From there, select the “gear” icon and choose the “account” tab. There, you will see an option to delete your account. Before you can delete your account you will have to provide a reason after which you will receive an email for confirmation. Open the email and follow its instructions.
Pinterest is a web-based pinboard or bulletin board, a place to bookmark images found online. To delete your Pinterest account you will first have to go to the triple dot icon on the website and select the “edit settings” option. From there you will have to go down to the “account” page and select “deactivate account”. From there you will click “yes” to receive an email, which you need to open and follow in order to permanently delete your account.
Snapchat is a service that, for a short time, rivaled Facebook and was the go-to social media app for many people. As is the case with Instagram, you cannot delete your account from the mobile app; you must delete it from a proper browser.
From the website browser, go to “delete your account” and enter your username and password. Your account does not delete instantly and it takes about 30 days to remove all of the information.
Regardless of how famous your really are, everyone has a Twitter handle. Many people follow and get their news from the tweets of everyone from legitimate newsmakers and media organizations to raving fans of our favorite sport teams. Deleting your Twitter account is incredibly easy. It takes at least 30 days for all of your tweets to get deleted. Select “settings and privacy” from the form on the menu and go into the account tab. From there you will have to deactivate your account and enter your password to confirm the action.
Tumblr probably has one of the most bustling communities on the internet, which is also why it is very easy for anyone to delete their account. While you are able to delete your account, the content other people have reposted will remain available on the site. To delete your account, click on the person-shaped icon on the website, and go to “settings”. There select “delete account”, entering your email and password to confirm the process. Tumblr also states that it takes them a few days to properly wipe all of your content.
Whatsapp is a free messaging app to send Voice over IP (VoIP), images, video calls and documents using a mobile device. To delete your account, simply open your Whatsapp and go to the “settings” menu. From there, select account and go to “Delete my account”, after which you will have to enter your phone number in international code and tap “delete”.
YouTube is second only to Facebook as a social media platform, owned by Alphabet, the owner of the parent company of Google. A well-managed channel can help to improve website ratings. A channel not in use should be deleted. Deleting your channel from the largest video-sharing platform on the internet is quite simple. You will first have to sign into your YouTube account and go to your advanced settings. From there, choose “delete channel” and then opt for “delete channel permanently”. This will launch a prompt where you can confirm if you want to delete your channel or would still like to keep it.
Final Words of Advice
According to industry experts and a recent article in Consumer Reports, it is a best practice to reduce the risk of having your personal and professional data being misused or stolen by keep your current accounts secure and deleting accounts no longer in use.