Protecting Your Privacy On Social Media

In the digital age, notions of privacy are permanently up for debate. Some say it’s impossible to maintain privacy when everything is posted on Facebook; others say it’s up to the networks to afford us control over our content. Until this is perfected it’s important to understand how to control your privacy online. Let’s take a look at 3 of the big social networks.

FACEBOOK

The social media superpower has come under the most scrutiny regarding its privacy and data policies and as a result, Facebook has overhauled its privacy settings, making them as simple to control as possible. The Privacy Check-up lets you control who can see your posts in future, which apps can publish to your timeline, which personal details are publicly viewable, and which are locked down. This won’t lock down older posts; to do that we’ll need to go a bit further – click ‘See More Settings’ in the Privacy panel:

  • Timeline & Tagging Settings allows you to control what other people can and can’t post to your timeline. It’ll also let you manage whether or not people can tag you in things without your permission. There’s a handy feature that lets you see how others view your profile, so you can make sure your selected settings are having the desired effect.
  • Blocking lets you simply block invitations from specific people, apps, pages and events, affording you a blanket layer of protection against particularly stubborn spammers.
  • Apps allow you to control what data your apps can access, and importantly, whether or not they can post on your behalf.

LINKEDIN

You’ll find LinkedIn’s privacy menu lurking in the top right hand corner of the website, hiding in the dropdown reached by clicking your profile picture. Here, under Privacy & Settings you’ll find 4 tabs to control your profile: ‘Profile’, ‘Communications’, ‘Groups, Companies & Applications’ and ‘Account’.

  • Profile includes various privacy settings to control who can see what you post, your activity feed, your connections, and overall control about the visibility of your profile to strangers. As a side note, you can also control other social network interactions, and manage your profile details from here.
  • Communications allows you to set who can contact you or invite you to groups. You can decide how often to receive LinkedIn’s emails, and manage push notifications for your mobile devices.
  • Groups, Companies & Applications gives control over which groups you’re members of, and to reach settings for emails from these three.
  • Account is used for more mainstream features, such as profile visibility, email & password and homepage controls. Interestingly the Account tab also lets you request a download of your LinkedIn data. Under a link called ‘manage security settings, there’s also the option for two-step verification.

TWITTER

There’s a few privacy features available on Twitter, but the most obvious is whether your Tweets are protected or public. If they’re protected people will need to follow you to see anything, and you’ll need to approve each follower request individually.

The rest of the settings can be found by clicking on your profile photo in the top left and selecting ‘Settings’. From here you can manage who can tag you in Tweets, whether location data is included, how people can find you (by email or phone number) as well as your options with regards to tailored adverts and promotional content.

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