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Security & privacy

Don’t have a Facebook account? Check if they have your phone number anyway

You know how to delete your browser search history, but what about things (or people) you look up on social media apps? Tap or click here to delete your search history on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. 

You don’t need to share your phone number with Facebook to have a profile, but it might still be there if you created your account in the past. Not long ago, people commonly displayed their contact information in their profiles for all to see.

You may think you’re safe if you don’t use social media, but you’d be wrong. It turns out that people you know who shared their contacts with a Meta platform (such as Facebook) may have handed over your information. Here’s how to put a stop to it.

Here’s the backstory

When you create an account on a social media platform, you’ll typically be asked to share your contacts so you can more easily add them to your network. It makes things easy, but do you realize you’re sharing contact information for people who may not want to provide it?

You probably shared your address book if you have a Facebook, Instagram or Messenger account. And that means Meta has information on every single one of your contacts.

Even if you don’t have an account with Facebook, you probably know plenty of people who do. And they may have shared your information with Meta without knowing it. It’s a sneaky move on Meta’s part, but there’s a way you can take back your privacy.

RELATED: Your Facebook data is always at risk. If you’re ready to cut ties with the social media platform, you’ll want to download your stuff first. Tap or click here for instructions to import all your photos and videos from Facebook.

Opt out of Meta

If you go to this help page for non-Meta users, there’s a line buried under the heading, “How Non-Users can exercise their rights:” “Click here if you have a question about the rights you may have.”

That links to a contact removal tool, where you can ask Meta to delete your information from its address book database.

Here’s how to delete your contact information from Meta:

  • Go to
  • Select the type of information you want to remove (mobile number, landline or email address) and hit Next
  • Enter your phone number and/or email address to get a confirmation code. 
  • Select the platform you want it removed from (Facebook and Messenger or Instagram), or select All
  • Click Next and enter the confirmation code on the next screen. Hit Next one last time.
  • If something is found, hit Confirm to delete the data. 
  • Hit Close on the next screen, or use the link to search for another number or email.

You can still use the removal tool if you have a Facebook account, but there are more steps you should take to protect your privacy. Tap or click here for 10 Facebook privacy and security settings you need to change.

Warning: We hope you know not to include your phone number or email address in your social media profiles. Even if your account is set to private, anybody can take a screenshot. If you have any contact information in your profile, delete it now.

Keep reading

Safe Search: 3 ways Incognito mode can save you

Smugglers on social media, Meta meltdown, Facebook privacy tips

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