Time to tighten up your privacy settings

lock-and-key-icon-thumb355812I am sure you have read some of the recent stories about Prism and what the NSA is storing on each of us in that huge Utah data center. If you are even slightly paranoid, please take a few moments to visit some of your social networks and tighten up your privacy settings. Some of them have moved around (I won’t even get into Facebook here) and some things have changed for the better. This is a short column of tips, and feel free to share your own suggestions as well.

If you use Google for anything, chances are they are storing all sorts of information on you. Click on your picture on the top right, then Privacy, and you can see the numerous settings of what they are allowed to collect. Google Accounts have this Dashboard filled with all sorts of goodies. For example, you can disable location history. There is also a monthly report on your account activity that you cansign up for.

For LinkedIn, go to your picture displayed on the top right, click under review privacy settings, then click on the button on the lower left under “groups, companies and apps” and then click on “Manage settings for LinkedIn plugins on third-party sites” where you should not allow LinkedIn to get information from its plug-ins. While you are mucking about in LinkedIn, you might also want to take a gander at the apps that your have authorized and prune them a bit. LinkedIn has recently reworked its third-party apps so you should see far fewer of them here than before. You also should revisit what else you share when you move around the LinkedIn network: this is under Profile, what others can see when you click on their profile.

If you haven’t been to these screens in a while it is worth spending a few moments clicking around on some of the other options.

One concern that I have is when I post things from my iPhone or iPad I don’t want to always reveal my location. Go to Settings, then Privacy, then disable location services for the specific apps that you don’t want to provide this information, such as your camera (so your photos aren’t geotagged) and any other social networks that you want to keep your movements private.

Finally, for improved Twitter privacy, go to Settings, Account, Personalization, check the box to turn on do not track feature. While you are here, you also might want to head over to view your authorized apps and revoke access of any that you might no longer be using.

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