How to delete your Twitter account permanently

Across the world, Twitter is one of social media’s darling, giving people a platform to share and connect. Politicians, celebrities, brands, athletes, you name it; everybody has a handle nowadays.

But while Twitter is often critiqued for its toxic culture of trolling and hate speech, many overlook some of the biggest problems the platform faces: a notorious lack of security and disregard for user privacy.

And while many people chose to delete Twitter to improve their mental health, others are more concerned for their privacy.

If you’re ready to leave the world of tweets behind, we’ve prepared just the guide for you on how to delete you from Twitter.

Something to consider before you delete your Twitter account

Remember that deleting your account means you’ll no longer have access to your DMs, posts, or other media. So, it’s always a good idea to keep an archive of your data. If nothing else, it can just preserve your memories.

You can do this from the browser:

  1. Log into your Twitter account.
  2. Click on ‘More’ on the left sidebar.
  3. Select ‘Settings and Privacy.’
  4. Under ‘Your account,’ select ‘Download an archive of your data.’
  5. Enter your password and click on ‘Confirm.’
  6. Click the ‘Request data’ button.

When your download is ready, you’ll receive an email from Twitter. Click the ‘Download data’ button to get your archive.

According to Twitter, it can take a few days for your email to be ready.

How to delete your Twitter account

With your archive saved, you’re now closer to pulling the plug on Twitter. There are two ways you can delete your account.

From the browser:

  1. Log in to your Twitter account.
  2. Click on ‘More’ on the left sidebar.
  3. Select ‘Settings and privacy.’
  4. Under ‘Your account,’ select ‘Deactivate your account.’
  5. Read through the information and click ‘Deactivate.’
  6. Confirm with your password and click ‘Deactivate’ one more time.

From the app:

  1. Tap on your profile icon.
  2. Tap ‘Settings and privacy.’
  3. Tap ‘Account’ and then tap ‘Deactivate your account’ at the bottom.
  4. Read the prompt and tap ‘Deactivate.’
  5. Confirm with your password and tap ‘Deactivate.’
  6. Tap ‘Yes, deactivate’.

As with most social media platforms, it’ll be around 30 days until your account is permanently deleted. If you change your mind, log in, and your account will be reactivated.

For more peace of mind, consider using a VPN in your day-to-day browsing to reduce the amount of data websites collect on you.

Is my privacy at risk on Twitter?

As with other social media platforms, Twitter has a lot to gain from data-mining.

It is in both Twitter’s and advertisers’ best interest to work together to improve their profile of you. To that end, advertisers on Twitter will often share data on you, including your:

      • Age
      • Race
      • Gender
      • Ethnicity
      • Email addresses
      • IP address
      • Interests
      • Online activities
      • Browser you use
      • Operating system
      • Mobile carrier
      • Time spent on the app

And the bad news doesn’t end here.

Even if you don’t have a Twitter account, Twitter can still collect info on you. The company has agreements with other websites and services that embed Twitter, making it possible to track your activities.

Then there’s the matter of security.

Twitter’s increase in popularity turned it into a prime target for malicious parties. With so many prominent figures on the platform, hackers try to take advantage of Twitter less than stellar security systems very often in the past few years.

Prepare yourself for a long list of hacks and data breaches.

2009
Most web servers at Twitter were exposing server and load-balancer status information to the public.
2009
A group called the Iranian Cyber Army hacked Twitter. The attack compromised Twitter’s DNS records.
2011
The Federal Trade Commission settled with Twitter the 2009 data breaches. Under the settlement terms, Twitter faces fines and other penalties if it fails to maintain “a comprehensive information security program.”
2012
A hack compromised around 55,000 Twitter accounts.
2013
Twitter suffered a data breach that compromised about 250,000 user accounts. The attackers got access to info like usernames and email addresses.
2015
Hackers claiming allegiance to the Islamic State took control of the social media accounts of the US military’s Central Command and posted threatening messages and propaganda videos, along with military documents.
2016
Hackers used malware to collect more than 32 million Twitter login credentials later sold on the dark web. Twitter insisted that its systems have not been breached.
2017
Following the hack of Twitter Counter, a tool for analyzing followers, several prominent Twitter accounts tweeted Nazi propaganda.
2018
Hackers gained access to Target’s Twitter account to promote a Bitcoin scam. Twitter confirmed other accounts were briefly affected as well.
2019
Twitter was caught using phone numbers and email addresses from people not for security purposes but to target them with ads.
2019
Twitter announced it had identified and fixed a couple of bugs. One of them prevented people from opting out of device-level targeting and conversion tracking.
2019
Twitter came clean about a hack that exploited its Application Programming Interface (API) by matching usernames with phone numbers via its “Let people who have your phone number find you on Twitter” option. A whopping 17 million users had their phone numbers leaked.
2020
Twitter changed what happens when users opt-out of the “Allow additional information sharing with business partners” setting. Now, people outside GDPR-compliant regions can no longer refuse conversion tracking for ads on Twitter.
2020
One of the most brazen data breaches of the year came to be known as the Twitter Hack. Perpetrators targeted 130 verified accounts belonging to top politicians and celebrities, like Barack Obama, Elon Musk, Joseph R. Biden Jr., Bill Gates, and companies like Apple and Uber. Hackers tweeted about Bitcoin. And even though they were a scam, the tweets got a push from some of the United States’ most prominent political and entertainment handles.

Better safe than sorry, so make sure you use a VPN for Twitter when using the social network.

 

Why did you choose to #deleteTwitter? Are you using other, more secure social media apps? Let me know in the comments below.

Until next time, stay safe and secure!

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