How to Deactivate Facebook Messenger

Deactivate Facebook Messenger on Any Device

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.

What Happens when you deactivate Messenger?

When you deactivate Messenger, you can no longer be a part of any conversation. Your friends will no longer see your profile in the app and cannot send you any direct or indirect messages.

You can log in to your Messenger anytime to restore access to it. Reactivating your messenger account will also reactivate your Facebook account.

If you want to reactivate your messenger services only, you can deactivate your Facebook account separately.

However, if you will permanently delete your Facebook account, then you have to compromise your messenger access too.

Is It Possible to Delete Messenger without Deleting Facebook?

Unfortunately, it is not possible mainly when your Facebook Account is linked with Messenger. However, if you’re using a stand-alone messenger app that is not linked with your Facebook account, then you can deactivate your Messenger without deleting or deactivating Facebook.

How to Deactivate Facebook Messenger?

Here’s how to deactivate a messenger account that is not associated with a Facebook account:

  • Open the messenger app.
  • Tap on your profile picture.
  • Tap on Account Settings
  • Scroll down
  • Tap where you see “Delete your account and information.”
  • Enter password and tap submit.

How to Deactivate Messenger without deactivating Facebook?

If you have a Facebook account that is attached to your Facebook messenger, you cannot deactivate Messenger without deactivating Facebook. The only thing that you can do in this case is to hide your chatting status and disable notifications or delete the entire messenger app from your device. Here’s how to disable messenger notifications on Facebook:

Turning Off Facebook Messenger

  • Open your Messenger app
  • Tap on your profile picture
  • Tap where you see the option Active Status
  • Turn off your Active Status by toggling off the button next to it
  • Now you will be shown inactive to other users.

Note: You can also disable/deactivate messenger notifications by following the steps below:

  • Head to the Notifications and Sounds section in the messenger app
  • Enable the “Do not Disturb” option
  • That’s it.

How to Delete Messenger Account?

Before deleting your messenger account, it’s important to know what happens when you delete your messenger account.

Deleting your messenger account requires deleting your Facebook account. All your Messenger and Facebook content will also be removed. Also, you can recover/reactivate your deleted Facebook or messenger account by simply logging in. Here’s how to delete a messenger account:

  • Open your Messenger app
  • Tap on your profile picture
  • Tap Account Settings
  • Select the option “Ownership and Control.”
  • Choose Deactivation and deletion
  • Select Delete account
  • Select Continue to account deactivation
  • Follow on-screen instructions
  • Your Messenger account will be deleted now.

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.

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.

  1. Antivirus

Antivirus does a lot more than fend off computer viruses. A fully effective antivirus protects you from Trojan horse programs, bots, and ransomware attacks.

  1. VPN

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.

  1. 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.

  1. Browser

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.

What Are the Best Alternatives to Facebook Messenger?

Facebook messenger is no longer considered a secure app. Therefore, you must try for other secure Facebook messenger alternatives, including the Telegram app, Signal app, and Wickr.

Conclusion

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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