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Here’s how to make an anonymous Facebook account

Facebook will try to get your phone number, don’t give it to them.

facebook logo with blurred facebook website in background
Image: KnowTechie

It seems that there’s always a new scandal about Facebook’s misuse of the data they’ve collected on you, from shady advertising to the disabling of Oculus headsets without notice. That constant stream of malfeasance has spurred many to delete their personal Facebook accounts, but what if you need a Facebook account for other reasons?

Maybe you need one for work, to manage the social media of the company you work at. You might have an Oculus Quest 2 virtual reality headset, which now needs a Facebook account when you set it up for the first time. You might also want to stay in touch with loved ones that refuse to use any other messaging app than Messenger.

Enter the anonymous Facebook account

Whatever your actual reason for not wanting to put your personal information onto Facebook, it really just boils down to privacy. You may be worried about Facebook misusing your information, or even having your details skimmed by fraudsters of another kind. It’ll also prevent you from getting all of your personal details taken if Facebook was to ever suffer a high-profile data breach.

Maybe you have security concerns about putting your real name on the internet, preferring to not let people from your past search where you are. The same goes for colleagues at work, who you’d rather just say you don’t use social media to avoid awkward conversations about why you won’t friend them on Facebook.

One other reason is that you might work in social media management, marketing, or related fields, and need to be able to manage a company Facebook account without having to link your personal profile.

Here’s how to set up an anonymous Facebook account

Making a new, anonymous Facebook account is simple. There are a few steps that could trip you up into linking your personal information to the account you’re trying to set up as anonymous, but don’t worry as we’ll show you which things to avoid.

First, you need a new email address

protonmail sign up form

Image: ProtonMail

To keep your new, anonymous Facebook account, actually anonymous, you’ll need a new email account that’s not already tied to your real name. If you use any existing email address to sign up, there’s a chance Facebook can still tie your anonymous account to your real information, especially if you’ve used that email for any other online accounts.

We like ProtonMail, which gives you encrypted email and enough messages per day on the free plan for Facebook use. Make sure you don’t use any of your real information when you sign up for this, so it’s probably a good idea to figure out what false name and date of birth you’re going to use on Facebook, and use those details for your email account as well.

Now sign up for Facebook

facebook sign up form

Image: Facebook

Make sure you’re signed out of your Facebook account, or even better, open Facebook in an Incognito window. While signing in, make sure you only put the email address you made in the last step, and not your phone number at any stage. Putting your phone number into the form will irrevocably link the new account to your personal details, the thing we’re trying to avoid.

Hit the big green Create New Account button, then put in the details you used when signing up for your burner email address. Use a Facebook avatar for your profile picture, because you really don’t want an actual picture of your face associated with your account. Kinda defeats the purpose if you use your real picture, right?

Oh, and when Facebook asks if it can have access to your contacts, say no.

Add the accounts you want, and only those ones

Think back to the reasons you created this anonymous Facebook account. Did you want to hide away from colleagues? Then consider adding trusted friends only to your list. Is it for managing a work account? Then maybe you won’t even add anyone, so the only connection you have is the link to the company page you’re managing. Be mindful of incoming friend requests, since your anonymous account might show up in the mutual friends suggestions of people you may not want to add.

Final things

Facebook will ask for you to confirm your new account. On absolutely no account agree to let Facebook confirm your account from your phone number, for the same reason we didn’t use it to sign up with. Use your new, burner email address.

Now it’s up to you to keep that new anonymous account private. Don’t add too many people you know, because a secret shared is no secret at all.

What do you think? Do you plan on setting up an anonymous account? Let us know down below in the comments or carry the discussion over to our Twitter or Facebook.

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