Nowadays, sites like Facebook and Twitter are more secure than ever before and this is due to the billions of users they now have bringing heavy investment in this area. However, this isn't to say that horror stories don’t exist so we always suggest looking over your privacy settings.
When looking, answer the question ‘how much are you happy for people to see or know about you?’. After this, you can look into whether you want old school friends to see less than family members. Furthermore, you should also assess how you see the platform; is it strictly for personal use or will it also play a role in your professional life? Once you have these answered, you will find it easier to find the right settings and we have broken it down by platform below!
Instagram - Firstly, we have the image-sharing app of Instagram and this is one that has exploded in recent times. Just like Twitter, you can link your account to other social media accounts and hashtags are also used to improve visibility across the world. Before posting anything, take a look through the privacy settings and adjust them to your preference.
Facebook - Over the past decade, this has been one of the biggest platforms in the world and they have a feature called ‘Privacy Checkup’. Here, you can answer some simple questions and this will adjust your privacy settings depending on your answers. At any time, you can also access the standard settings from the lock icon located at the top of the screen.
Twitter - So you are used to sending tweets to your friends, but are you sure where they are going and who can see them? After clicking on your profile picture on the top bar, select ‘Settings’ and you can adjust whatever you desire within seconds. On the whole, they are similar to Facebook but we have highlighted a couple down below;
Privacy - Here, you can protect your tweets from anyone who isn't a follower of yours. If you only want your followers to see your tweet and not every user in the world, this is the one for you.
Location - If your location is activated on Twitter, it will be linked to every single tweet you make. Therefore, you can keep this private by turning the option off. Whenever you have it ticked, you should understand the consequences and be comfortable with people seeing your location.
Thirdly, there is a lesser-known setting called ‘HTTPS Only’ and this will allow your information to only be accessed via a secure connection. Essentially, this means you won’t be leaving traces of data wherever you go and it will keep you protected from unsecured locations.
LinkedIn - Aimed towards the business market more than anything else, LinkedIn allows professional networks and relationships to be created and you can find the settings from the appropriate drop-down menu after first clicking on your profile picture at the top. Once again, you will see more of the generic options found on most social networking sites but you will also find others.
Profile - With this section, you can select what shows in your activity feed as well as what is found in your profile. Nowadays, there is extensive customization in place so you can really refine your settings.
Communications - Are you interested in receiving communication attempts? Who do you want to send you invitations and who can reach out to you? In the communications section, you can answer these questions and more.
Account - If you’re interested in hiding certain pieces of personal information, this is the place to do it. For example, you might want to hide your name and address and this can be done with ease.
Extras - After this, you will have various smaller sections such as applications, groups, and companies where you can adjust the settings for your groups and so on.
Today, the internet can be a dangerous place but only if you fail to protect yourself. By checking the privacy settings, you can get peace of mind that your posts are only seen by those you wish to see them. Don’t forget, there are various other features to keep you protected such as blocking and reporting. If you feel vulnerable or have an issue at any point, make use of these functions and contact the social media site directly.
As long as you follow the tips above, you can stay safe and enjoy social media the way it should be enjoyed!