How to permanentely delete your Instagram account

Are you tired of too many curated pictures, stories, likes, and unrealistic beauty standards that leave you feeling bad about yourself?

Or have you had it with companies using your data to make a profit?

If you’re ready to get Instagram out of the picture, let me teach you how to delete your account.

Instagram + Facebook = 💙

It’s now common to see the #BoycottFacebook hashtag trending, but let’s not forget Facebook isn’t just a social network anymore. It’s a conglomerate with over 66 company acquisitions under its belt.

And Instagram is one of them.

Facebook bought the photo-sharing app in 2012 for $1 billion. Back then, Instagram was still a small platform with about 30 million users.

But with some help from its parent company, Instagram quickly became one of the most popular social media apps.

No filter can make this pretty

Instagram might look all picture-perfect, but that’s not the case for its data policies.

Let’s see what’s been happening with the platform over the years.

2012
One of the first things that changed after joining Facebook was IG’s privacy policy. The company started collecting all sorts of data. “You agree that a business may pay Instagram to display your photos in connection with paid or sponsored content or promotions without any compensation to you.” That sentence caused an uproar back in the day.
2015
The press revealed that Instagram automatically geotagged photos, even if the user didn’t use the ‘Add to Photo Map’ option.
2017
A bug allowed hackers to access email addresses and phone numbers of unsuspecting Instagram users. You might remember this one because high-profile users were targeted. For example, hackers posted uhm… unflattering pictures of Justin Bieber using Selena’s Gomez account.
2019
An ad partner of Instagram’s, HYP3R, made the news for scrapping profile info from millions of users. Details like their locations, stories, photos, and bios, were used to create a database of user profiles.
2019
49 million Instagram users had their data exposed by a marketing agency who left an unprotected database on an Amazon Web Services server for about 3 days.
2019
After Instagram removed the ‘Following’, apps similar to Like Patrol started scrapping public profiles for data, even though that was a violation of Instagram’s policies and guidelines. Apple removed Like Patrol from the App Store a few weeks later.
2020
Social Captain, a social media boosting startup, stored Instagram passwords in plain text. And because they had a bug on their website, plugging in a user’s unique account ID granted you access to their Social Captain account and their Instagram login credentials.
2020
Instagram plans to ask for IDs to fight Russian bots and troll accounts. Users will upload a photo of a government-issued ID and then take a selfie video. These are then supposed to be validated by humans.

If you care about your data, you should consider how much of a risk Instagram poses to your privacy. Ready to take the next step?

How to deactivate your Instagram account

You can temporarily disable your account and take a break from social media.

This won’t delete any content from your account, and all your data will still be accessed by Instagram.

Here are the steps:

  1. Log into your account using a browser.
  2. Go to your account and click on ‘Edit profile.’
  3. Scroll down and click on ‘Temporarily disable my account’ in the bottom right.
  4. Select your reason and enter your password to confirm.
  5. Click on ‘Temporarily disable account.’

To reactivate your Instagram account, you just need to log back in again.

How to save your Instagram data

If you’ve decided to delete your Instagram account permanently, you might want to keep a copy of your data. You know, for old times’ sake.

Just like Facebook, Instagram gives you this option. And you can download your data using a computer or your phone.

From the web version:

  1. Log into your account using a browser.
  2. Go to Settings.
  3. Select ‘Privacy and Security. ‘
  4. Scroll down until you reach ‘Data Download.’
  5. Click on ‘Request Download.’
  6. Enter your email address and confirm your Instagram password.
  7. Find the link to download your data in your inbox.

From the Android/iOS app:

  1. Go to on ‘Settings’
  2. Tap on ‘Security’ and select ‘Download Data.’
  3. Enter your email address and confirm your Instagram password.
  4. Find the link to download your data in your inbox.

You might have to be a bit patient for this one. Instagram says that it can take up to 48 hours to receive that link in your email. But, after that, you’re ready to delete your account.

How to permanently delete your Instagram account

When you delete your Instagram account, your profile, photos, videos, comments, likes, and followers are permanently removed.

If that’s what you’re after, here’s what you got to do:

  1. Log into your account using a browser.
  2. Go to the Delete Account page.
  3. Choose a reason and confirm this step with your Instagram account
  4. Click on ‘Permanently delete my account.’

And that’s it! Your account is now officially deleted.

And you are no longer generating data to be sold to advertisers.

Taking away the likes

Instagram is one of the most aesthetically pleasing social media platforms out there; but its tracking capabilities are also a force to be reckoned with.

While you might use a VPN provider to protect your digital privacy, you’d best keep our data off Instagram (and its parent company, Facebook).

So, are you ready to #DeleteInstagram? Or did you already take the plunge? 😉

Let me know in the comments below.

 

Until next time, stay safe and secure!

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