Social media privacy policies change rapidly, leaving most users confused, annoyed, frustrated or all of the above. But taking control of your privacy and keeping an eye on what you share online – and with whom – is an important responsibility for anyone who joins a social media platform.
No time to read terms and conditions?
The best way to get a handle on your online privacy settings is to read the terms and conditions for each platform, but we know that isn’t always practical. Here is a short list of what to look for on several platforms to ensure you’re sharing what you want to, and nothing more:
- Log out of your profile and then search for yourself on each platform – just to see what information is public. For some platforms (Facebook and Google+), you can use the “View Profile As” option and do this without logging out.
- Check your photo albums and general photo settings. Sometimes defaults are set to share publicly (like with mobile uploads).
- Check your settings for people who want to follow or friend you. Can anyone, or do they have to be approved?
- Can people tag you in posts or pictures? If so, check to see who can tag you and who sees what has been tagged.
- What third-party apps have access to your information? Do any of them automatically post on your behalf? You might be surprised by what you find.
- Check to see what profile information shows up publicly. Your full name? Phone number? Email address?
- Check your GPS/geo-targeting/location settings. Sometimes when you have location services on, your physical location will show up when you post to that platform. Not all platforms ask first; that is a setting you have to adjust.
No one else is going to do it for you.
Staying on top of your privacy settings is not as fun as using the sites, but no one else is going to do it for you – and you might be alarmed at what you find.
To find out more about privacy and social media, check out our recent BallywhoSocial blog.