How to Delete Your Reddit Account Permanently – 2020 Update
If you are one of Reddit’s millions of monthly active users, read on to find out more about Reddit’s privacy and security issues and to learn how to permanently delete your account if you feel that that’s the best thing for you.
Reddit is no stranger to controversy. Flashback to late 2016 shortly after President Trump’s election. Reddit’s CEO, Steve Huffman, discovered in a popular pro-Trump subreddit r/The_Donald that many of the most popular (and critical) comments were about Huffman himself, in response to the shutting down of a Hilary Clinton conspiracy subreddit.
Unknown to redditors, Huffman could edit any part of the site and inserted code that would automatically replace his username with the username of his critic, turning the insult back on them. Redditors were quick to notice and were seriously unhappy that their data could be manipulated.
Huffman no longer has this power, but this incident brought to light the overreach of the tech executives at Reddit, and perhaps beyond.
Many of Reddit’s vulnerabilities have been exposed in recent years, including a celebrity nude photo hack, rebellious content moderators, and the removal of a ‘warrant canary’ in 2016, which suggested they had been asked to hand over user data to a government authority.
Then there was an incident in 2018, where Reddit discreetly (almost secretively) re-enabled the tracking of its users, and shared this data with third parties.
Reddit has tracking enabled by default for advertising and personalization purposes, which users have to opt out of manually. However, if users are not made aware of this default tracking, they are unlikely to opt out of it.
Deactivating vs Deleting: What You Need to Know
Reddit doesn’t allow its users to temporarily disable their accounts. Once you delete your Reddit account it is gone forever, along with all your favorite links. If not individually deleted before deactivating your accounts, your comments will still be visible, but the author of the comments will be displayed as [deleted].
If you change your mind in the future, you will not be able to sign up to Reddit with the same username as before, nor will anyone else. Furthermore, there is currently no automated feature to download your Reddit data. You need to contact the company to request a download of your user data.
Step-By-Step Guide: How to Delete Your Reddit Account
If you have decided Reddit is no longer for you, follow these simple steps to permanently delete your account.
- Log in to your Reddit account.
- Click on your user icon and select ‘User Settings’ from the drop-down menu.
- Scroll to the bottom of the page and click on ‘Deactivate Account’.
- Re-enter your log in details and if you choose, a reason why you are deleting your Reddit account. Check that you understand deactivated accounts cannot be recovered and click ‘Deactivate’.
- You will be asked if you are sure as this action cannot be undone. Click ‘Deactivate’.
- Your Reddit account is now permanently deleted.
Additional Ways to Keep Your Data Private Online
In recent years there have been some newsworthy scandals surrounding the privacy protocols and policies of numerous social media platforms. For example, in 2018 there was the Cambridge Analytica scandal that hit Facebook, which saw the data of up to 87 million users shared inappropriately.
So much can be learned about you from your social media accounts. There have been many cases of burglars hitting houses they know to be empty thanks to holiday announcements on social media.
Many social media users reveal their exact location when posting through geotags without knowing it. This could give away your address, and if your date of birth is featured on your profile, fraudsters may have enough information to commit identity fraud. The more information about you that is online, the greater the risk.
However, social media is useful in a number of ways – not just in staying connected to friends and family, but also for business purposes. So, if you are not ready or in a position to give up social media, there are a few things you can do to stay safe.
Read and research the privacy policies of the social media sites you are signed up to, and be cautious with those that regularly share your data with third parties.
Additionally, monitor your privacy settings. If you haven’t already done so, limit who can see what you post to trusted family and friends.
Furthermore, don’t give a social media platform permission to post or access your location. Check your privacy settings regularly to ensure that nothing has changed without your notice.
If you want to stay safe online, it is worth investing in a VPN service that can help keep your data safe from hackers, provide anonymity, and bypass geoblocking software.
Before you commit, check out our guide on the best VPNs that offer free trials.