How To Delete or Deactivate Your Snapchat Account

How To Delete or Deactivate Your Snapchat Account

 Snapchat has 293 million users worldwide, making it one of the most popular social networks in the world. As you might imagine, this social platform comes with many security risks.

Whether you want to delete your account because you don’t use it or hate what it turned into, it is your right to determine when you want to end your usage. Below, I will provide some compelling reasons why you should delete your Snapchat account. I will also go through how you can do it.

Why Deactivate or Delete a Snapchat Account?

Snapchat had a big leak fiasco a few years ago due to third-party app integrations. The leak involved underground photo-trading chat rooms. This data has been collected for years, with a 13GB library of images many users thought were deleted.

4Chan users sorted the images by username, enabling people to look through these stolen images. The event is commonly referred to as The Snappening

Snapchat states their servers were never officially breached. However, it is a grim reminder that anyone can compromise your internet privacy. Many of those images likely still exist on the darknet

Regardless, Snapchat has a prolific history of leaks. Here are some examples:

  • According to reports, you can also look up any user by phone number.
  • In 2019, Snapchat employees abused access privileges by spying on user accounts. 
  • Phishing attacks revealed 50 thousand users with compromised data (2017)
  • Current employees had their data exposed in 2016 after a payroll scam 

Admittedly, phishing attacks are on the user over the site. But being on the site is what turns you into a target. 

Because of this and public exposure from social media, I recommend you don’t have Snapchat. For deletion steps, keep reading. 

How to Permanently Delete Snapchat

snapchat account deletion message

The image is available during step two of the account deletion process (seen below). Here are some steps you can follow to delete your Snapchat account permanently:

  1. Access your account portal and log in using the mobile or desktop website (not the app)
  2. Scroll down and click on the “Delete My Account” button
  3. Re-enter your username and password 

After 30 days, Snapchat will remove your account from their database. To delete your app from the mobile app, follow this pathway:

  1. Settings (the cog in the upper-right-hand corner)
  2. I Need Help
  3. Account Information
  4. Delete My Account 
  5. Follow the steps above

Snapchat does not allow you to delete your account by staying within the app. You will need to do so from your browser (i.e., Firefox, Chrome, etc.).

Like all social media sites, Snapchat does not have a number to request the removal of all data from the site. Snapchat doesn’t have an email, as they only communicate with current users. 

What Happens if You Delete Your Snapchat Account?

When you request deletion of your Snapchat account, your profile goes down. Snapchat gives you a 30-day-period for you to change your mind on deletion.

You should avoid logging in during this period, as you will need to restart your Snapchat deletion process. Each new request resets your 30-day timer, so resist temptation. 

After your 30 days are up, the account is permanently gone. This vanishing means the permanent removal of the following items:

  • Snaps
  • Chats
  • Story
  • Device data
  • Location data

Unfortunately, Snapchat will retain basic personal information. Snapchat says they do this for legal reasons. 

The only known way to contact them without having an account is Twitter. Like most large social companies, overturning their policy will be a challenge. 

Can you Temporarily Disable your Snapchat?

Currently, there is no way to remove your profile from Snapchat temporarily. 

The only way to “temporarily” disable your Snapchat is by requesting deletion. Even then, your Snapchat will only be “disabled” for 30 days. You will also have to stop the deletion before the 30 days is up. 

Before you decide to delete your account, you might want to retrieve your data. 

Can I Reactivate my Snapchat Account?

 After the 30-day deletion process is complete, there is no way to reactivate your Snapchat account. You can only log into your account before the 30-day period elapses, stopping the deletion. You will have to create an entirely new Snapchat account if you wish to use the platform again.  

How To Download Your Data from Snapchat

snapchat data request confirmation

Before deleting your account, it is an excellent policy to retrieve all data you left behind. This ch ice provides you with a personal record of what you left behind on Snapchat. 

To download your data, go to the “Download My Data” page, scroll to the bottom, and click the “Submit Request” Button:

snapchat personal data location

You will know your data is ready when a zip file is available on this page:

Having your Snapchat data provides the following benefits:

  • If you are a victim of a leak, you can have a record of the lost data for legal purposes 
  • It allows you to have an itinerary of exposed personal information for general purposes
  • You can go down memory lane without leaving behind exposed data. 

What Data Does Snapchat Provide You?

Under the “Data Available for Download” section, Snapchat lists what it provides you. Here is a comprehensive list:

  • Login History and Account Information (basic identifiers, device info, and history, login history, when your account was active/inactive)
  • Snap history (received and sent)
  • Chat history (received and sent)
  • Our Story Submissions
  • Spotlight Content 
  • Purchase History (In-App and On-Demand)
  • Shop History (what you viewed)
  • Snapchat Support History
  • User Profile Data (App profile, engagement, demographics, channels viewed, time breakdown, ads you viewed, interest categories, web and app interactions) 
  • Public Profile Information
  • Friends (List, requests, blocked users, deleted, hidden friend suggestions, ignored snapchatters)
  • Ranking Info
  • Story History (Public and friend views)
  • Account History (Name/email/mobile number/password changes, two-factor authentication data, Bitmoji info)
  • Location Data (frequent/latest locations, business, and public places, locations over two years)
  • Search/Terms history
  • Subscription
  • Bitmoji Data (Basic info, analytics, TOS acceptance, Keyboard enable history)
  • In-app services used
  • reported content
  • Connected apps 
  • Talk history
  • Ads manager data (for businesses)
  • Snap games and minis
  • Lenses used
  • Memories
  • Cameos (appearances in other user’s)
  • Email campaign history
  • Tokens
  • Scans
  • Orders
  • Snap map places 

Password changes and history are not provided in detail, only when the changes took place. If you’re more interested in current info, you can look through your app. 

Once you have your data, you should remove the app from your device. 

Delete Snapchat from Any Device

Snapchat is available across Android (Google’s Smartphone OS) and iOS (Apple’s OS). Here’s how you clear all of your data regarding Snapchat: 

Android Devices (Smartphones and Tablets)

Before removing the app from your device, you will want to clear your cache. The cache contains old account data and other personal identifiers. Without removing the files, you might have folders or information left behind. 

To clear your App cache while deleting the app, follow these steps:

  1. Go to your phone settings
  2. Scroll until you see storage
  3. Under storage, select “other apps.”
  4. Use the search function in the upper right to find Snapchat
  5. Click “clear cache” and “clear data,” respectively. 

You’ll potentially have to access the location using your file manager. However, doing both will effectively remove all traces. Worst case scenario, you’ll have an empty folder. 

 iOS Devices (iPhone and Tablets)

IOS devices sometimes have apps that leave behind unwanted files like Android devices. To address this, you can follow these steps:

  1. Access settings
  2. Go to “general” and access “iPhone storage.” 
  3. Select “Offload app” and “delete app” in that order.

Clearing the cache will prevent any lingering packets when removing the app. 

What Information Does Snapchat Store About Me? (Snapchat’s Privacy Policy)

Snapchat stores a lot of information about its users. It categorizes this information in three forms:

  • Information you provide includes your name, email address, payment details, phone number, and date of birth. Snapchat will not delete this information from its database due to legal reasons. This data includes information from communicating with their support team. 
  • Snapchat tracks data from service to target you with programmatic advertising. These include filters, snaps, device information, photos, location information, tracking cookie information, stories, and the people you communicate with. 
  • Information from third parties like integrated services (i.e., Bitmoji), ad information, and volunteered information on your contact list.  

Snapchat gathers way more information than necessary to use its services. Much of this information is sold to more effectively target you with advertising. 

How Does Snapchat Use My Information?

Snapchat’s primary use of information is through the following:

…develop, operate, improve, deliver, maintain, and protect our products and services.

Snapchat also contacts you through the information you provide. 

The other half of their usage includes monitoring your usage rates, personalizing services (and ads), location services based on previous data, identity verification, and tracking those who violate its TOS. 

Can I Control How Snapchat Uses My Data?

Besides deleting your account, you can control how Snapchat uses your data in the settings. This data control measure includes the following:

  • You can revoke tracking and data privileges using your phone’s app permission settings 
  • You can control advertising preferences through the app’s settings
  • Controlling who sees your account can be done in the settings 

Snapchat does make an effort in allowing you to control some things. However, they will still use the data you willingly provide to target you. 

Regardless of your best efforts, modern marketing systems enable tracking cookies. These tracking cookies that Snapchat doesn’t allow you to control will target you based on existing data. 

What is Snapchat’s Privacy Policy?

The one good news about Snapchat’s privacy policy comes back to this section:

We store your basic account information — like your name, phone number, and email address — and list of friends until you ask us to delete them.

So if you have concerns regarding your data on Snapchat, you can quote this section to their support team. So, while Snapchat’s privacy policy does track and use your data in ways most privacy-conscious people disagree with, they do have parts of their privacy policy that support your case for deletion. 

Snapchat users who live in California have a bit more control. You can request access to and get a copy of your personal information at any time. You can also ask them to delete the data. Any arguments to the contrary are against the law.

Deleting Your Snapchat – FAQs

Can Snapchat See Your Photos?

Snapchat’s privacy policy references a section where they do not reach your chats. However, numerous photo leaks have shown that the permanent deletion of photos is not always beneficial. Snapchat may not see your photos, but everyone can see who you send the images to. 

What Makes Snapchat Unsafe?

Like any social media site, they take your data and use it for programmatic advertising. Putting identifiable information out there (like your name) also allows fraudsters to use identifiers to pretend to be you.

They take this information and access sensitive material like bank accounts.

Will Deleting Your Snapchat Remove All Your Data From The Platform?

Unless you live in states where data laws say otherwise, Snapchat keeps basic information on you. Snapchat doesn’t disclose this information, but it is likely only for legal purposes.

After an account deletion, keeping and selling your data to other people is likely to land them in hot water.

Is There Any Way To Stay Protected While Using Social Media?

Despite your best efforts, using social media is a privacy risk. One way to reduce your exposure is to create false information, which will make it difficult to make payments or verify your identity if it is lost.

Twitter is better about being privacy-conscious, as it doesn’t always require you to submit personal details.   

Conclusion

Regardless of whether you delete your Snapchat because you hate the latest update or are concerned with internet privacy, you have a right to your data. Social media services that say otherwise are often violating the law. 

Thankfully, Snapchat has a straightforward method for account deletion, enabling you to access your data. Regardless the company’s privacy policy and data use are somewhat concerning.

While Snapchat does not sell your data, it sells access to it through programmatic advertising. To ensure your internet privacy is solid, Download The Fast VPN

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