Whether you just want to take a break from Facebook or no longer want others to follow your personal life, deactivating your Facebook account prevents others from seeing your account information. While deactivating your account removes your profile and Timeline information from Facebook, private messages and comments you made on other people's posts may still be visible.
Choosing to Deactivate Your Account
Deactivating your Facebook account is designed for users who want to temporarily remove themselves from Facebook, but gives you the ability to reactivate your account at a later time. Deactivating your account removes your profile from public view. While deactivated, your contacts, photos, and other profile information are stored in the event that you want to reactivate your account later.
Limitations When Deactivating Your Account
After deactivating your account, messages you sent to other users may still be viewable, provided the recipients have not deleted those messages. If you decide to reactivate your account, you have to wait a minimum of 24 hours after the deactivation of your account before logging in to your Facebook account again.
Choosing to Delete Your Account
The fundamental difference between deactivating your Facebook account and deleting it lies in the ability to reactivate your account at a later time. Deleting your account deletes all contacts, messages, photos and other information stored on your account. If you choose to use Facebook again, you have to do so with a fresh account and have no ties to your old account or any access to its content.
Facebook offers its users several levels of privacy controls that prevent others from seeing integral components of your Facebook profile. One such privacy mechanism enables you to separate your contacts into lists. Each list can then subsequently be assigned controls that dictate what members of that list can see on your Timeline and profile.
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