Should I Deactivate Facebook Messenger
If you’re here because you have concerns about your security on Facebook Messenger, then you aren’t the only one. With over 1.2 billion users, Facebook has recently become the latest tech mogul to admit that external contractors or third parties can create advertising profiles based on personal data if the options aren’t disabled. This in itself seems like a good enough reason to deactivate Facebook messenger. But, don’t jump the gun, and let’s dive deeper into ‘behind the screens’ of Facebook Messenger, and everything you should know about the platform’s security and privacy.
Advantages of Facebook Messenger
Before getting all riled up about Facebook messenger, there is the matter of why it has become so popular and what kind of an impact it has on our lives. So here’s what it brings to the table:
- The application makes it faster to connect to people in comparison to going through a mobile browser.
- Depending on your plan, texting costs you, but with Facebook Messenger, you get all the same perks without any extra cost. Most data carriers and mobile data companies have allowed free Facebook usage to their customers.
- It’s a great tool for collaboration. The app allows sharing and exchanging files and links without a hitch, making it easier to work together while on the go. Be it media files of different formats, or CVs of new potential candidates, Fb messenger doesn’t fail to serve diverse audiences.
- You can make VoIP and video calls worldwide as long as the other person also has a Facebook messenger.
- You only need to permit features you plan on using. If you don’t want to make calls, then you don’t have to allow the app usage of your microphone. Also, whether you choose to permit the app or not, the choice does not affect the basic functionality of the app – the instant messaging facility.
- With features like Facebook Live and Marketplace, sellers and buyers can instantly discuss businesses on messenger.
- Facebook messenger has got settings, with which a business page can auto-reply to potential customers.
3 Reasons to Deactivate Facebook Messenger
While it seems to be a complete communication package for individuals and businesses, it also has loopholes worth discussing.
Here are some reasons to deactivate Facebook messenger:
- Your privacy is never fully protected since Facebook messenger can access your media storage, contact list, and other information you provide on messenger, or on your Facebook profile, regardless of the fact that it is private.
- Facebook has an in-house ad program. The social media platform, including its Messenger app, shows advertisements. Whichever platform shows advertisements or has an in-house ad program, like Gmail, does create advertising profiles, which is a major contributor to digital fingerprinting.
- The messenger is always on in the background, which drains your devices’ battery a lot quicker.
- If you use a Facebook app, then you’re forced to download the messenger too. Otherwise, you can’t use the messenger if surfing through mobile.
- Someone who gets access to your Facebook account can easily get into your messenger account as well. That’s one of the biggest reasons digital experts suggest users switch to secure messaging apps that are end-to-end encrypted, hence keep users’ communication safe.
If you feel that your privacy is being violated, then you’re justified. Even though Facebook heralded significant security updates, the reality is that the messenger app lacks security, and this problem is not easily fixed and is getting worse with each passing day.
More on Facebook Messenger’s Security Status
The Facebook messenger app is not end-to-end-encrypted even though several promises were made to this end by the CEO, Mark Zuckerberg. You may find the reason surprising since it isn’t because there need to be some drastic changes in their business model or law enforcement interference. It is because of the mammoth technological challenge involved. Due to this, it could be more than a year before Facebook achieves end-to-end-encryption.
In 2017, the company launched its new security feature, ‘Secret Conversations’ which was like adding an extra door to the bank while leaving the vault open. Facebook issued the warning itself that its messages are not encrypted, and the secret conversation option is only applicable for individual conversations and not for groups, and not by default. This has landed Facebook messenger in hot water with its billions of users who may use it on a daily basis but have rated the app one star on the play store.
How to deactivate Facebook Messenger?
If you have deactivated your account, hoping that the same happens to the messenger, then that’s not the case. Also, there’s a difference between deleting and deactivating a Facebook account. Deactivating is not enough, and people can still see you and try to contact you, and you can reactivate it at any time. If you delete your Facebook account, then that’s when you remove all your data permanently.
First off, you need to delete your Facebook account and then continue to Facebook messenger. Once that is done, you can follow the simple instruction below to achieve your goal:
- Open the messenger app.
- Tap on your profile picture.
- In the drop-down menu tap on Legal and Policies.
- Choose Deactivate Messenger on the next screen.
- Enter your password.
- Tap on
Is it Enough to Deactivate Facebook Messenger?
Keep in mind that this, though effective, is just a single step in gaining security and removing unwanted distractions from your life. However, we do need Facebook for our sighs of relief and when we want to scroll for pleasure. You can also choose to deactivate or turn off Facebook messenger notifications and chat heads if you like this social media platform and don’t want to take the plunge now.
If you considered deactivating your Facebook messenger for security and privacy, then that might not be enough. Several tools can help you gain control of your online security.
Antivirus does a lot more than fend off computer viruses. A fully effective antivirus protects you from Trojan horse programs, bots, and ransomware attacks.
You should make use of a VPN when connecting to Wi-Fi, especially when it’s from a local coffee shop. It is possible that you could leave your sensitive data exposed while on a public network and become a victim of cyber-crimes. A VPN protects your online freedom by encrypting your internet traffic and giving you access to content the way you would love.
Secure Email Provider
If you wish to stay one step ahead of the scammers and online hackers who want to sniff sensitive data from email subjects and attachments, then use a secure email provider. Again, use one that provides a high standard of encryption to actually protect your communication.
Your browser cache remembers more about you than your hippocampus. The saved cookies, searches, and web history could be used to gain access to family information, home address, and other private data. Always clear your cache and delete your browser history diligently.
The internet is filled with alternatives that make it a lot more convenient to deactivate Facebook messenger without it affecting your online activities in any way. In fact, you might not even miss it for a second! Facebook is addictive, which is the main reason they get away with their lackadaisical security, but if you truly feel unsafe, then maybe it’s time to do the right thing and get rid of it ASAP!
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