Deleting WhatsApp is a step many are taking lately, especially with the continued issues with how secure it actually is…not to mention Facebook owns it. Facebook’s ownership of WhatsApp alone makes it worth uninstalling it. Coupled with how Facebook tracks and uses your data plus the ads that are scheduled to hit the platform in 2020—it really makes WhatsApp look like a poor choice for messaging.
WhatsApp isn’t the app it used to be, and many are ready to move on and uninstall it. Deleting WhatsApp isn’t as easy as deleting the icon off of your phone. Deleting the app from your phone doesn’t delete your account or data from WhatsApp (remember Tris’ experience with a new phone) entirely.
Here’s how to delete WhatsApp to actually remove your account and data. When we’re done deleting WhatsApp, we’ll look at a more secure option for truly private communications.
Steps to take before you delete WhatsApp
Before you delete WhatsApp on your phone you should know that:
- Your account will be gone forever.
- WhatsApp keeps no backups of deleted accounts.
- You should back up anything important—such as documents and photos—yourself.
- Once this is done there is no going back. The data is gone.
Having second thoughts? First, don’t. WhatsApp is not much more secure than SMS, and there are much better options out there for end-to-end encrypted messaging. Second, if you are having second thoughts you can delete the account:
- Run the backup process to the cloud of your OS to keep everything you have now.
- Delete the app by holding down on the app icon until the “X” appears in the upper right hand corner of each app.
- Click the X on WhatsApp.
- When you want your data back you can restore it and get everything that was backed up.
The problem with this, of course, is your data is still on WhatsApp’s servers. This is a huge risk, especially since they store this data in plain text, for very minimal gain. It’s much better to back things up yourself, put them where you know they’re secure (such as an air-gapped storage device) and delete WhatsApp permanently using the steps below for iOS or Android.
How to delete WhatsApp on iOS
1: Click on Settings in the lower right-hand corner:
2: Click on Delete My Account at the bottom of the options:
3: Enter your full phone number to confirm the account you want to delete, the same as was used to create the account, and click Delete My Account.
- Delete your profile photo
- Delete all of your account information
- Remove you from all WhatsApp Group chats
- Delete all data from your WhatsApp message history on your phone
- Delete everything you have on the iCloud backup server (if backed up WhatsApp to iCloud)
- Delete your information that’s been shared with other Facebook companies
It could take 90 days for all of your stored backups to be deleted, but your information will not be accessible to you at this time. It will also not delete your data off other people’s phones, leaving that information there. Only truly secure messaging apps like Sky ECC have deletion features like this, such as Sky ECC’s self-destructing and Flash messaging app features.
How to delete WhatsApp on Android
The steps for uninstalling WhatsApp on Android are similar to that of iPhones with a few minor changes due to how the operating systems label their buttons differently.
1: Click on the More Options button, typically this is in the drop down menu from three stacked dots in the upper right-hand corner. Click on the Account tab next to the key at the top of the page.
2: Click on Delete my account located at the bottom of the page.
3: Enter your phone number using the full international format, then click the red DELETE MY ACCOUNT button.
This will delete the same data off of your phone as it does with iPhone; profile photo, account info on phone and Google drive, and delete you from all Group chats.
Use a more secure messaging platform
WhatsApp is a good messaging platform for basic chit-chat, but it falls far short of being a secure messaging platform. Major weaknesses that cause people to uninstall WhatsApp include:
- Lack of security for files, attachments, and photos
- Lower encryption protocol
- Messages stored in plain text on their servers
- Owned by the data-gathering Facebook
- Lack of metadata encryption
- Log IP addresses
We could go on and on with the issues with how (little) WhatsApp protects your messages, but let’s sum up with: there isn’t much protecting in their “protections”. Here’s a diagram which compares WhatsApp to our own Sky ECC:
As you can see, Sky ECC has much higher security standards in every way possible (and always will). Our app was built with privacy and security at the forefront while WhatsApp was launched initially even without end-to-end encryption at all (which they later just bought from Signal, and even then didn’t turn on default end-to-end encryption for years).
How Sky ECC excels
Sky ECC allows you to do things WhatsApp is simply not built for:
- 521-bit ECC encryption protocol (strongest encryption of any commercially available app)
- Revoke/delete messages you’ve sent, a problem WhatsApp can’t seem to get right
- Store all data securely on your own phone, no servers to be compromised
- Control who messages you by approving contacts before they can message you
- Use a messaging app which stores no personally identifying information
- Flash messages that automatically delete in 30 seconds
- All messages delete within at most seven days, or as little as two hours
- An encrypted vault protects photos, chats, and documents you want to keep secure
There are still more features which make Sky ECC the most secure phone available for sale today. Uninstall WhatsApp and move on to a secure messaging app which isn’t owned by the data-leaking Facebook and truly protect your communications today.