We know that we need to watch what we share on Social Media sites. But do we know how to control what is actually shown to the public? Below are some tips you can use to improve your privacy on 8 of the most popular social networks: Instagram Facebook Twitter, Pinterest,, YouTube, LinkedIn, TikTok.
Third Party Information Sharing
Use Strong Passwords
Stop Access to Third Party Apps
Using Geotags Wisely
Use a VPN
Each time you post on social media, you might be revealing more than you think to a wider audience than you expected. Employers are even looking at Social Media profiles of their potential employees in order to screen job applicants. A recent article at Money.com, Boss's Snoop on Social Media Profiles, found that 60% of employers check out the social media pages of job candidates. We listed some steps you can take in order to reduce your private information that is accessible online of the 3 most popular social networks.
Facebook has no option to switch your account to private mode. But you can manage who you let see your status updates, photos or check-ins. You can also make your profile invisible to third parties and the Search Engines. Unfortunately, there is no way to hide from Facebook Advertising. You can share your future posts only with your inner circle by going to: "Menu" > "Settings" > "Privacy". Choose what option suits you: "Who can see my stuff" You can make your posts visible to your friends, public, or keep some private details to yourself. You can also choose to review posts you are tagged in. Remove tags from those party pictures you do not want your colleagues to see. "Do you want search engines outside of Facebook to link to your profile?" If you do not like the whole world from looking at your information outside the social network, check the "No" box. Do you have followers?. You may not even know you had followers. Facebook allows random people who are not even on your "Friends List" to follow your posts. Click on "Public Posts" to manage who can see and comment on your activity.
Even though, Twitter was never meant to be your private diary. You still want to check who can follow and engage with what you share. You can switch your account from "Public" to "Private". This will hide your tweets from everyone except the people you have approved as your followers. Go to "Settings and Privacy" > "Privacy and Safety" Check the "Protect your Tweets" box. This will make your Twitter account private. If you ever chose to share your location and no longer want to. Uncheck the option "Tweet with a Location". "Photo Tagging" and "Discoverability" Are options for who can tag you in their photos and prevent or allow others from finding you based on your contact details.
Are you sure you want the whole world to see every Instagram picture you take? So you love to share your precious holiday moments and beautiful visual discoveries. But do you think that your life should be seen by random strangers? It may be good to switch your account from Public to Private. Open your account and go to
"Settings" > "Privacy and Security" > "Account Privacy" > "Private Account"
This will make your content visible only to approved followers. Now, only new "Followers" will have to get your approval first. However, for the Photographer or those that want to share your pictures, going private may not be an option. Share, but do not over sharing. Be careful when posting pics of your friends and family members. Also consider not using geotags. Not all of your thousands of followers need to know your location.
How to turn off Geotags.
Hide your pins from people. You can not completely hide your active account. But by using Secret Boards to keep your Pins hidden from other people. Only you can view your own secret boards. You can invite other people to view it. For even better privacy, change your name or use secret boards to keep your Pins hidden from others. You can also move or copy a Pin to a secret board. More on Secret Boards here.
Disable cookie-based personalization
Pinterest uses information from other Websites you have visited or apps you have used. And of course, some of their advertisers share information with Pinterest to help customize Pinterest for you. To manage ads personalization, follow the steps in this article.
Hide your video preferences: Two of your most important privacy settings with YouTube are watching habits and your likes
Go to your YouTube homepage. Click on your avatar icon and select “Settings” then “Privacy.” The screen shows whether your "Liked" videos, your subscriptions, and your saved playlists can be seen by the world or only by you
Turn off or customize ad personalization: Google keeps track of the videos you watch, and will use that information to deliver personalized ads. You can turn it off
Select “Settings” > “Privacy” and then select the Google Ads Settings link in the “Ads based on my interest” section of the page. Turn off personalization. Slide the slider in the “Ad personalization” section to “Off.” (Note that this also turns it off for other Google services, such as search.) If you want to change your ad settings instead, scroll down to the “How your ads are personalized” section of the page. Enjoy how much Google thinks it knows about you, then click one or more interests that are either wrong or that you simply don’t want Google to know about. On the screen that appears, click “Turn off.”
The Settings and Privacy page at LinkedIn allows you to manage your account settings. This page is organized into six sections: Account preferences. Sign in and security. Visibility. Communications. Data Privacy. Advertising data
To access this page, click the "Me" icon at the top of your LinkedIn homepage. Select Settings and Privacy from the dropdown. Note: You can also type https://www.linkedin.com/psettings/ into your browser's address bar
Here are 9 other LinkedIn Privacy Settings You should change.
How to Enable TikTok Privacy and Safety Settings
For see the alerts for "Hacks and Security": Open the app, and under "The Me" tab, tap on the three-dot menu, then tap on "Manage my Account". Select "Security". You will see alerts from TikTok if they find something suspicious. Go back to the previous screen and select "Privacy and Safety". You should look at every option to see which ones apply to you. More Safety Settings are listed here.
Other sites with TikTok security concerns
TikTok is facing a global backlash over security concerns - ABC.com
Cybersecurity researchers find TikTok privacy vulnerable - Washington Times
TikTok is a national security threat, US politicians say - CNN.com
Beware If You Use TikTok On Your iPhone - Forbes.com
Abandoned apps like TikTok pose a security risk - TechRepublic.com
Is TikTok secure enough? - Check Point Research.
Recruiters try to retrieve social media information when vetting applicants, Social profiling is the act of measuring a person based on their interaction and influence on social media platforms. Some estimates say that 43% of employers used information online in order to not hire someone and 40% use social media to screen candidates, including their social conduct. Although it can be important in some ways, it does show only one side of a multidimensional person. It assumes that if there is no social profile, or if you have a low social influence score, you are automatically less worthy as an employee.
Do you take steps to prevent cyberstalking when you use social media? Cyberstalking may sound like just the electronic and modern form of traditional, face-to-face stalking. It can also include real-time and off-line stalking. However, cyberstalking has a completely different set of victims. Traditional stalking is usually understood to affect women as victims. Cyberstalking, on the other hand, impacts nearly 40% of men. Also, traditional stalking is usually done by ex-partners or certain associates of the victim; a large part of cyberstalking is done now by complete strangers. The increase in cyberstalking is possibly due to the ease of information access. Cyber-stalkers can attain geolocation information that is automatically turned on for most smartphones. Not to mention the fact that we willingly share this information ourselves by geotagging every single picture we share on our social profiles.
Government surveillance is also a threat to online privacy. Warrantless searches have been in and out of the news for some time. However, it wasn’t until the revelations by Edward Snowden that they gained front-page attention, and the focus zoomed in on the government’s standard of accessing users’ private information without a warrant. In the U.S. the courts determined back in 1967 Case known as Katz v. United States, well before the social media age, that any person who willingly makes information public is not protected by the Fourth Amendment, and therefore requires no warrant. Even information that is meant to be kept private, such as information shared with a friend, is often interpreted as not being intended to be private, as there is no guarantee that the recipient would keep that information private. The NSA is known to have worked with Facebook, Google and others through the Prism Program to monitor user information that included email content, search history, live chats and file transfers.
Many companies collect visitor data and then sell it to others. This is where tracking comes in. Several websites set cookies on your device once you visit them. The cookie places information on your device to later identify a returning user. That is a problem, as some cookies can crawl and track you to other websites. Identifying your behavior patterns online. Also, several online services you opt-in to use, track your activity while you use their services.
Facebook and the majority of social media sites, are tracking and recording what you do, what you like, your comments and messages, your shares, and all other behavior. They then can sell this information to companies or as part of their advertising services, as it helps to sell products and services more easily and in a more targeted way.
We can still maintain some privacy on platforms where we share everything. Even if you are not concerned about the privacy threats mentioned here. You may not like the idea of potential employers being able to see your social media posts. Protecting your social media profile and staying active at the same time may sound quite troubling at first. But it all becomes super easy when you know what to look for and what to fix. We will help you with that.
Phishing scams are very effective because they can be very deceptive. You’re emailed a message saying that your account has been hacked, and you need to click the link in order to restore your account. You click on it, enter your login information, and blam, you’ve been hacked! That was a fake email and a fake site, and you wouldn’t know until your private information gets stolen. In general, don’t click on links shared by people you don’t know.
Unfortunately, it is still true that the most popular password is still “password.” It's important to have a strong password. But many people take the easy route. You DO NOT need to change your passwords regularly IF it is already a strong password. You should be using a combination of capital letters, numerals, letters, and punctuation.
See our blog on Creating a Strong Password
Also see Do not trust password strength meters.
If you’ve set up your new strong and unique password, you should also enable two-factor authentication, or at least login verification. This feature adds an extra security layer by requiring one more authentication step after entering your password. When two-factor authentication is enabled, it sends a code to your phone, which is needed to complete login from a new device. Login verification is similar, except that it’s not every time you log in. It’s only for when you log in from an unknown device that you’ll be prompted to enter a verification code.
During your social media life, you have probably used some risky third party apps. Check, whether you are still using all of those apps that you permitted access to view your account. We recommend you stop access to applications that are no longer in use, as well as suspicious applications that offer you to get “likes”, followers or view private accounts on Instagram. These are the ones to use your account in an improper way.
We completely get it – tagging a location to your photos is really tempting, especially when it comes to your travel shots or a newly decorated house. However, geotagging puts you at risk, both material, and cyber. Not only that your vacation photos are an open invitation to burglars, signaling that your house is left empty, geotags also add sensitive info to your online profile, disclosing your personal preferences through specific locations visited. For these reasons, specifically avoid tagging locations that you are frequently at, like your home or work.
Ever login to your social media accounts from a public Wi-Fi. Remember that you are putting your account security at risk. Make sure to keep your privacy, use a VPN service like NordVPN, which will encrypt your Internet traffic and protect your personal information from hackers and identity thieves
Read our review on NordVPN and see how easy it is to stay private and secure.
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