Social Media Privacy: Focus on Twitter

Fast paced and always interesting, it’s no wonder many people are drawn to Twitter. You can say a lot in 140 characters, and it’s a quick way to share what you think and what you’re doing.

Oh, and a lot of celebrities and brands hang out there, too.

While Twitter has managed to avoid many of the security snags that plague Facebook, there are a few things you can do to protect yourself.

Getting Started

Find your security settings by clicking on your avatar (a.k.a. your profile picture) in the upper right-hand corner of any Twitter page. From the drop-down menu, select “Settings.” On the next page, choose “Security and privacy.”

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Let’s look at some of the options individually.

Login verification

Login verification prevents someone else from logging into your account easily. When you have login verification activated, Twitter sends a verification code to your phone that must be entered for you to log in to your account. You should switch this on.

Password reset

Typically, when you need to reset your password on Twitter, you’re only required to enter in your password. That means someone else could mess around with your account. Click this box to require that you need to enter your username and your email address or telephone number when you need to change your password.

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Photo tagging

Like Facebook, Twitter lets others tag you in photos posted to the site. Do you want this to happen? We recommend you restrict tagging to either no one or to just those you follow.

Tweet privacy

Who do you want to see your tweets? There are pros and cons to each option here.

Click the “Protect my Tweets” option, only those you approve will see your tweets. That means just your followers will see what you post. No one else outside your followers will be able to retweet your posts.

Leaving your tweets unprotected makes them public, which means everyone can see them, they can be retweeted, and they are searchable by Google.

What you do here is up to you – if you opt to leave your tweets public, post extra carefully. Never share personal or identifying information, and keep some things – like vacation plans or big purchases – to yourself.

Tweet location

Like Facebook, you can tag your location in your tweets. And, like Facebook, we recommend you turn this option off. While you’re here, click the “Delete all location information” to get rid of anything Twitter might have already stored.

Discoverability

Do you want people to be able to search for you on Twitter by your email address or your phone number? We recommend you turn both of these off, but if you’re tweeting for your business, we understand why you might want your business to be searchable by email.

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Personalization

Don’t be shocked, but Twitter (like Facebook) knows where you go on the web. How do you think they know what kind of sponsored tweets to show you? Unclick “Tailor Twitter based on my recent website visits” to keep your Internet travels to yourself.

Promoted content

Here’s another shocker: Based on your tweets and website visits, Twitter can also serve you ads based on the things you’re interested in. Unclick “Tailor ads based on information shared by ad partners” to turn this function off.

Read more about Twitter’s security settings here.

Got questions about online security? We’ve got answers! Contact PNSolutions today.

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