Should I delete my almost unused Facebook account or just keep it?

Apologies if this has been discussed before. I did search and found Is it better to keep an unused account, or delete it? but it doesn’t quite answer my question.

I never used Facebook a lot anyway. I haven’t logged in to my account in something like 10 years. Should I delete my account or just leave it alone? I’m pretty sure I logged in and set all my options to the maximum available privacy settings ages ago, so most of the data is probably not visible to random strangers or maybe even my Facebook friends.

I don’t think they’re tracking me via my account, because I just never log in in the first place, even without applying other anti-tracking strategies.

If I delete my account, do I risk ending up with a shadow profile being created for me which I can’t see? At least with a real account, if I really want to, I can log in and see what’s been attributed to me, can’t I?

I occasionally get (apparently genuine) password reset e-mails which I didn’t ask for, and I get a bit worried sooner or later someone is going to get access to my account. Not that there’s anything tremendously exciting in there, but I suppose they could start posting spam or illegal content and get me into trouble. Then again, maybe having the account is a form of “planting my flag”; if I delete it, someone might create an account in my name.

I can’t help thinking Facebook have got my (increasingly outdated and not that interesting) data anyway, the public probably can’t see it and am I better off just to let sleeping dogs lie and leave the account alone?

If I delete the account I can truthfully fill in any forms (e.g. visa applications) that ask for my social media usernames saying I have no social media. On the other hand, maybe I’ll look more normal on those applications if I have a social media account to write down, even if it’s not one I actively use. Maybe there’s some kind of “nothing weird about me, I’m absolutely Joe Average” benefit to having the account which makes it worth keeping?

I can’t help but feel a vague and ridiculous sentimental attachment to the list of “friends” on there. In reality I have other ways to contact anyone who actually knows me and I am never going to message that random dude I met in Uzbekistan thirteen years ago, but I might as well be honest about having this attachment.

And there might be some photos of old friends I don’t see any more that it would be nice to keep, but I could export all my data before deleting the account. Unless it doesn’t export photos other people tagged me in but which I didn’t upload myself, in which case there are photos of some modest value to me (that I never look at, but theoretically could) visible via my account that I’ll lose access to if I delete it.

I’m rambling, I know. Any thoughts would be appreciated!

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First of all. You can export all your data. So you can keep your sentimental value :). I would definitely recommend that.

This will also show you the data Facebook has on you. And allow you better to make a choice.

Personally i would recommend to delete your account. Just because it stops it from being exposed to others. Even though we can’t be sure that they delete it all it will limit the people with access for sure.


Thanks ph00lt0! I should definitely try the export, then I can confirm that it does include all those photos I’m tagged in but didn’t post myself, and as you say once I see what data they have on me it will be much easier to decide what to do.

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