8 Privacy Benefits of Deleting Social Media Accounts

If you’re concerned about the amount of information available out there about you, it may be time to take a break from the online world. These days most people have a few social media accounts, but if you’ve been asking yourself whether you need them all, it might be time to consider deleting some to get some of your privacy back.

From spam and malware, to privacy breaches, limiting your social media accounts could decrease your exposure to online threats. Here is a look at the top privacy benefits of deleting social media accounts…

1. Limiting the Amount of Information Available About You Online

While it doesn’t completely ensure that your data can no longer be collected, deleting social media accounts can limit the information that is available about you on the internet. If you’ve been thinking about your online privacy more and more, there are some things you should consider before deleting social media accounts.

For instance, you may like to tell your friends and followers why you’re doing it and the positives you hope it will bring into your life. You may also need to think about the technical aspects, such as deactivating social media, retrieving any posts, such as photos you would like to keep, and deleting the apps.

It is important to read the fine print when you sign up for a social media account to see for how long your account can still be searchable and if the stuff you posted online can still be viewed even after you close your account. While companies like Meta do provide privacy policies about what happens to your information, some things need to be read in more depth to ascertain if deleting your account means that everything will be permanently deleted.

2. Limiting Data Harvesting

Each time you sign up for a new social media platform, the platform collects certain data about you. Things like your name, age and email address may not seem like much, but if misused, or if the social media platform experiences breaches in privacy from scammers, your data is exposed to malicious threats.

Social media giants like Meta, which runs both Instagram and Facebook, retain information about you for their purposes. While we may know that they retain certain information, it is not always clear how your data is being used and which third parties it is being forwarded to.

There are reasons why TikTok poses a huge privacy risk as well, because of the way the app tracks certain information. While they also have a privacy policy, it doesn’t reveal all the risks, or spell out all the dangers of giving up your data to them.

3. Decreasing the Chances of Cyberstalking

It’s easy to type the name of someone you would like to find on the internet to see where they are. While this may seem like an innocent thing to do, the more information there is about you, the easier it is for stalkers to find you.

You may have an ex who is not quite over you, or a nasty high school friend who wants to see where you are. By limiting your social media profiles, you are not making yourself so available.

4. Decreasing the Risk of Spam and Hackers

We’ve all received that email, the one telling us about a vast fortune hidden away in some foreign bank account that is waiting to be collected by the “next of kin”. If you’ve wondered how they got your email address, chances are that they’ve gathered hundreds of emails from online platforms and used them in the hope that someone will reply and give them their bank account details.

Or there’s the spam tactic of opening a group chat on a social media platform like Twitter and sending a message to dozens of account at once. People with public accounts or open inboxes may have found themselves included in this annoying trend.

With so many ways hackers and spammers are threatening our online privacy, it is always a good idea to check if there are places on the internet where your details are publicly available. If you know that your information is not publicly available, it is time to consider which social media accounts you are using and the potential threats these platforms could be posing to your online privacy.

5. Decreasing Personalized Advertising

Many social media platforms show us ads based on our search history. If you’ve jumped from a site that sells refrigerators to your social media and seen refrigerators advertised directly through your feed, the algorithm has realized that you’re searching for a particular item and now has you as a potential customer.

Meta’s privacy policy is reader-friendly and available for anyone to see, but it doesn’t specify how they’re storing information about their users. We also don’t know what they’re storing exactly and how it is being shared with other companies.

6. Reducing the Risk of Identity Theft and Fraud

We all have that friend who has frantically messaged us to tell us not to open the email that was recently sent from one of their social media accounts. If it’s happened to you, you know exactly what we’re talking about, and it is a scary experience to know that your data has been accessed by some identity thief.

You start to wonder what else they have access to. It can take months for the social media platform to figure out what has happened so that they can deal with the threat accordingly. By deleting or limiting your social media accounts, you will make yourself less vulnerable to threats such as identity theft and fraud.

7. Stopping Potential Employers From Snooping

If you’re looking for a job, and you’ve posted your qualifications on a site like LinkedIn, there is nothing stopping potential employers from looking you up on other social networking sites to find out what you’re like in private.

If there is something on social media that you wouldn’t want potential employers knowing about you, deleting posts or accounts could help you keep some of your data private.

8. Benefiting Your “Mental” Privacy

No matter if you’re a content creator or an individual who shares a lot on their social platforms, the constant need to share can be draining. It might feel like people are constantly wanting a piece of you and this can wreak havoc with your sense of self.

By switching off some social media accounts, you could get some mental privacy back. In other words, you may feel like not everything you do is destined for the internet, but for yourself.

With so many potential threats out there, it is no wonder that people are starting to worry about what social media platforms are doing with their data.

While deleting social media is a good way to make yourself less vulnerable to online threats and breaches of privacy, it is important to research if, and how, your data was/is being stored. While social media platforms provide privacy policies on their sites, they are not always clear. This is why you should inform yourself as much as you can about social platforms before you give your personal data to them.

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