If social media is the window into our lives, would you really want the blinds open all the time? That feeling that just anybody can look in, at any time, is one that can make you feel uncomfortable and reasonably so. Comparable to a ground floor apartment in a bustling big city, the more followers you have, the more likely someone can see into your ‘window’ whether that’s on accident or on purpose. There’s no need to go to the extreme when it comes to setting your own privacy, unless that’s what you want. There are simple steps you can take to make sure your doors and windows are locked to anyone you haven’t specifically invited over. That includes salesmen and solicitors otherwise known as data collectors and advertisements!
Sure, we’ve all added the location of a post when we’re on vacation to let people know, ‘Hey. I’m in Hawaii and it’s beautiful’. Afterward, your location settings are still available for data collectors to see where you are, or where you live, and tailor ads specifically toward you and your environment. If that creeps you out, you can actually go in and manually turn that feature off.
iPhones: Go to your phone’s Settings > Privacy > Location Services > Instagram > Never
Android: Go to your phone’s Settings > Location > App access to Location > Instagram > Deny
Set your entire account private so that only the followers you have approved can see your account.
On App: Head to your profile by clicking on your picture icon in the bottom right > Open the menu in the top right corner > Settings > Privacy > “Private Account” toggle.
Multi Factor (Two-Factor) Authentication
An easy way to boost your security and protect yourself from hackers. This feature just adds a second step (like a verification code) when logging in to your account.
On App: Go to your profile by clicking on your picture icon in the bottom right > Open the menu in the top right corner > Settings > Security > Two Factor Authentication > Get Started
Keep your online status private by changing your settings.
On App: Settings > Privacy > Activity Status > Toggle “Show Activity Status” Off
Review Tagged Photos
Change your settings so photos that are tagged with your account won’t be automatically added. You’ll be able to approve them manually.
On App: Settings > Privacy > Tags > Toggle “Manually Approve Tags”
Who Can See Your Posts
Whenever you upload a photo, update your status, or check in at a location, Facebook gives you the option to choose who you wish to share it with.
Choose from four options:
Public: Anyone can see it whether you’re Facebook friends with them or not.
Friends: Only people who you are friends with can see the post.
Specific Friends: Share with only preferred friends that you’ve already specified or you can select individuals you particularly don’t want to share with.
Only You: Keep things completely private so that only you can see it.
Limit Friend Requests
If you’re tired of random strangers trying to add you on Facebook, you can try limiting who can send you a request. Head over to Settings > Privacy > Who can send you friends requests > Switch from ‘Everybody’ to ‘Friends of Friends’.
Remove Your Facebook Page From Google Searches
Head over to Settings > Privacy > Select ‘No’
Limit Location Privileges
iPhones: Settings > Privacy > Location > Facebook > Never
Android: Settings > Applications > Facebook > Toggle “Location Services” off
Shut It Down
Twitter has a toggle that can shut off all personalization and data sharing. If you don’t want Twitter sharing your information and using it for ads tailored specifically to you, then this is the button you’ve been looking to press.
In App: Head over to Settings and Privacy > Privacy and Safety > Personalization and Data > Toggle the main switch at the top “Personalization and Data”
In App: Settings and Privacy > Privacy and Safety > Toggle “Precise Location”
Limit Direct Message Requests
If you would prefer to only receive direct messages from friends and followers, you can limit who can send you a message or add you to group chats.
In App: Messages > Message Settings (Top right corner) > Toggle “ Allow message requests from everyone”
Disable Read Receipts
If you don’t want to let people know if and when you’ve read their message, simply disable this feature.
In App: Messages > Message Settings (Top right corner) > Toggle ”Show Read Receipts”
In App: Profile > Settings > Two- Factor Authentication > Toggle ‘SMS Verification’.
Set your account so that only your friends can contact you.
In App: Head over to your profile > Settings > Contact Me > My Friends
Opt out of Quick Adds
Snapchat has a feature that allows you to send and receive quick friend adds that are based on mutual friends you already have.
In App: You can opt out of this feature by heading to your Profile > Settings > See Me in Quick Add > Toggle “Show Me in Quick Add”