Like its parent company Facebook, Instagram is no stranger to the occasional privacy incident.
Instagram poses a severe threat to your privacy due to Cambridge Analytica, password leaks, and default location tracking. Additionally, it notifies other users of your in-app behavior, including likes, comments, and interactions with stories. More lately, it has started letting other users know when you are online and even when you were last active.
It’s also understandable that a sizable portion of users are prepared to uninstall Instagram permanently given the increasing number of fresh reports outlining the detrimental impacts of social media on mental health.
You might also think about deactivating or deleting your social media accounts if you wish to share a little less information online. This post will explain how to delete your Instagram account permanently when you’re ready.
BE AWARE: App developers, ISPs, and telecom companies can track, record, and sell information about every click, share, and download. Only a VPN, such as ExpressVPN, can shield you and stop these other parties from obtaining and selling your private information.
Deactivating vs Deleting: What You Need to Know
Depending on your preference, you can choose to deactivate or delete your Instagram account permanently.
Your account will be temporarily disabled, but during that time, other users won’t be able to see your profile, followers, photos, likes, or comments. Logging back into your account will allow you to recover all of this data and resume using Instagram normally.
A deleted account cannot be restored; you cannot go back and delete your Instagram account. Your entire Instagram data, including your photos, followers, likes, and other information, will be permanently deleted when you delete your account. If you decide to join Instagram again in the future, neither you nor anyone else will be able to use the same username.
Deactivating an Instagram Account
Instagram can only be deactivated through a web browser on the Instagram website; it cannot be done through the Instagram app. You can deactivate your account by following these instructions if you want to take a break from Instagram:
- On the Instagram website, log in to your account and click on the person icon to go to your profile page.
- Select ‘Edit Profile’, scroll to the bottom of the page, and click ‘Temporarily disable my account’.
- You will be asked ‘Why are you disabling your account?’, select a reason from the drop-down menu.
- Re-enter your password and select ‘Temporarily disable account’.
- Your account is now deactivated and it will be hidden from other users until you log in to it once again. NOTE: As per Instagram’s usage policy, you can only deactivate your Instagram account once a week.
Downloading Your Instagram Data
All of your data is permanently lost if you delete your Instagram account; it cannot be recovered.
To ensure that you can still access the images, videos, and other content you have posted throughout the years, you might want to download your Instagram data before closing your account. To save a copy of your Instagram information:
- Go to your Instagram profile and select ‘Settings’ (gear icon).
- Click on the ‘Privacy & Security’ tab and click ‘Request Download’.
- Enter the email address where you would like to receive a link to your Instagram data, followed by your password.
- Within 48 hours you should receive an email with a link to your data, titled ‘Your Instagram Data’. Click ‘Download Data’.
How to Delete Your Instagram Account
An Instagram account can only be deleted through a web browser, just like when it is deactivated. Follow these easy steps to permanently delete your Instagram account:
Like with deactivating, only a web browser can be used to delete an Instagram account. Follow these easy steps to delete your Instagram account permanently:
- Log in to your account on the Instagram website.
- Go to Instagram’s ‘Delete Your Account’ page. Select from the drop-down menu your reason for leaving.
- Enter your password and click ‘Permanently delete my account’.
- Your Instagram account is now deleted.
Other Ways to Keep Your Data Private
Many of us store files and/or back up essential data using a cloud storage service. If you utilize one of these storage services, pick one that encrypts your files automatically. The cloud provider may be able to access your data and even share it with government authorities upon their request, though, as they retain the key to your encryption.
By manually encrypting your data before sending them to the cloud, you can get around this issue. The only person who will possess the key to your data will be you. As long as you don’t also upload the encryption keys to the cloud, your cloud provider won’t have access.
Even if you’ve never manually encrypted data before, there are a variety of user-friendly, free encryption applications available.
Select encryption software that works with the operating systems on your computer, mobile device, and cloud storage provider. End-to-end encryption and password storage should both be features of your encryption tool.