In the wake of Facebook’s massive data breach scandals, it’s no wonder users feel inclined to delete Facebook Messenger and their account; the harvesting of user data, and the Cambridge Analytica scandal have crushed Facebook’s stock price and left users fearing for their privacy. And if you thought deactivating your Facebook account was enough to protect you, it isn’t: Facebook Messenger holds exactly the same personal data and it can linger even after you’ve deactivated your Facebook account. The only way to permanently delete Facebook Messenger is to permanently delete your Facebook account.
Is Facebook Messenger private? Not really. It ranks poorly in our secure messaging app list because it tracks your behaviour, lacks a default encryption option, and doesn’t encrypt your past conversations. Moreover, it has access to your camera, microphone, and contacts.
Read about how to use social media cautiously and make your data as private as possible here.
Deactivating Messenger is simple. However, if your Messenger account is connected to your Facebook account, you will have to deactivate your Facebook account first.
The following Messenger deactivation steps apply to both the iOS and Android platforms:
To reactivate Facebook Messenger, log in with your username and password.
Deactivating your Facebook account will not automatically deactivate your Messenger account as the app is separate from Facebook.
You can also create a new Messenger account using your phone number and name, not your existing Facebook account.
No, you can’t deactivate Facebook’s Messenger and keep your Facebook account. The only solution would be to turn your chat off by hiding your status and disabling notifications.
You will now be shown as inactive. You can also disable notifications by:
To delete Facebook Messenger completely, you will have to delete your Facebook account to remove all your data. Here's how:
Once the deletion process begins, you won’t be able to reactivate your account or retrieve any of the content you’ve added to Facebook. Before confirming that you want to delete your Facebook account, however, you’ll be given the option to download your photos and posts.
If you’re using the stand-alone version of the app without having a Facebook account, you can deactivate messenger by following the points listed above or simply delete the app.
Choosing to delete Facebook Messenger is a great first step in securing your privacy on social media. However, if you use any other platforms, it's worth checking out our social media privacy tips to see how else you can secure your social life online.
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