Walt Mossberg

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Deleting a Facebook Account


How can I permanently delete my Facebook account?


Facebook doesn’t make it easy. The company tries to hang on to defecting users by promoting a halfway measure called “deactivating” an account, which merely hides you from the Facebook membership but keeps your information on the social network’s servers in case you wish to “reactivate” later. This process can be performed with a few clicks. Facebook says this is the default choice because “many users deactivate their accounts for temporary reasons” and then wish to restore them. But permanent, irreversible deletion of an account requires you to submit a request and wait for Facebook to act on it. The company deliberately delays acting on such requests “in case you change your mind,” according to the site. Details are at: http://on.fb.me/5NCCC0.


Our daughter will be entering a middle-school program next year which will allow her to do a lot of independent work with assignments completed in a word-processing program and turned in online. Can you recommend a durable, inexpensive, user-friendly first laptop or netbook?


I’d recommend either the 13″ MacBook or the 11″ MacBook Air, which are very durable, easy to master, speedy and highly unlikely to ever get infected with malicious software. Each costs $999. They come with the best built-in suite of software in the industry and a superb operating system, plus Apple’s support is highly rated. If they cost too much, there are similar-sized Windows alternatives for less, hovering around the $600-to-$700 range. Netbooks, of course, can be even cheaper, but there are fewer of them these days, and their reliability can be iffy.

You can find Mossberg’s Mailbox, and my other columns at the All Things Digital website, http://walt.allthingsd.com. Email mossberg@wsj.com.

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