Social media is one of the most effective and well-known ways to stay in contact with those you love, as well as meet some new and interesting people. Unfortunately, with this level of access comes the concern of keeping your information safe from all of the would-be interlopers that permeate every aspect of online activity. Fortunately, each social network currently available has built-in safeguards in the form of privacy settings, which are extremely helpful in combating online criminal activity.
While all social networks may have these defenses in place, getting to them and manipulating them is different with each one. To help ensure your learning curve is as small as possible, following is a list of the top three social network, as well as how to access each one’s privacy settings area.
Finding Facebook’s privacy settings page is simple, and can be done by simply clicking on the small, padlock-shaped icon located at the top-right of the page. This will trigger a drop-down menu, after which you will click on “See More Settings.” This will take you to the “Privacy Settings and Tools” page, after which you can set individual settings to where you want them.
When you sign up for your Twitter account, you have the option of defining whether your tweets will be public, which is the default setting, or protected. With protected tweets, each individual user must be granted access in order to view you tweets.
Once you have finished setting up you Twitter account, you can still make changes to different settings relating to privacy. To access this area, click on the gear-shaped icon at the top right of the page and then select “Security and Privacy” from the menu on the left.
To find the privacy options in Google+, first select the “Settings” option from the drop-down menu on the left. The list of manipulable areas here is extensive, ranging from definition of who can send you notifications to the designation of “Circles.” The latter is the most effective tool Google+ provides in defining the different privacy settings that are most important to you.
Using social media will always present some form of risk, in terms of an unauthorized person gaining access to your private data. However, using the privacy controls included in most social media networks can easily reduce this possibility by an order of magnitude.
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