Software updates are released regularly to patch bugs and security vulnerabilities. In addition, there may be new features and settings. It is recommended that you keep your software up to date and review your settings regularly. Two of the key privacy settings to change for all apps is the location publishing and disabling contact sync. This article reviews general privacy settings to consider for Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIN, Twitter, YouTube and WhatsApp. Just a reminder Facebook owns Instagram and WhatsApp. Settings change regularly so by the time you read this the information may have changed. Also, there are business and personal accounts. Typically, business accounts do not provide granular privacy settings because it is assumed you are trying to reach a large audience.
There are several settings for privacy in Facebook. First, you can select who views your posts (Public, Friends or people you have already shared with). You can create private groups to share information that requires an invitation and is not open to the public. Second, you can determine who views your Facebook profile and timeline. Third, navigate to Settings > Privacy and adjust sharing settings, etc. More Facebook privacy settings is available here.
The main settings to change for Instagram is the account privacy setting by navigating to Settings > Privacy > Account Privacy to enable private account. This means only your approved followers can see your posts. Remember anyone can send you a message directly even if they are not following you. You can always remove a follower or disable comments too. For more details click here.
Most people consider LinkedIN the professional version of Facebook. Thankfully there are privacy settings for those who still want to protect themselves. Navigate to the Me icon > Settings & Privacy > Privacy to adjust settings:
- How other see your profile and network information
- How others see your LinkedIN activity
- How LinkedIN uses your data
- Job seeking preferences
- Blocking and hiding
There are several privacy settings for Twitter. Navigate to your account > Settings and Privacy > to view available options. The core settings are in Privacy and Safety. You can only publish Tweets to your followers, disable direct messages from strangers and block people. Twitter also allows users to unfollow, filter notifications, mute and block information. To learn more, click here.
YouTube is tied to your Google account, so it is important to secure those settings too. In YouTube you can determine who can view your videos by navigating to the YouTube Studio Beta > Videos > Select the Video to Update > Change Visibility to Public, Private or Unlisted. Publish means anyone can view, Private means only people you choose can view and Unlisted means anyone with the link can view. The Private settings is the most secure.
There are not too many settings for WhatsApp. To view them, navigate to Settings to view privacy and security settings. You can disable location, block people and only allow your contacts to view your information.
There are laws that govern privacy settings such as the Federal Trade Commission Act (15 U.S. Code 41, Gramm Leach Bliley and General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) that applies to companies with customers in the European Union. However, it has been estimated that there were over 4.1 billion records exposed during the first half of 2019. Companies are fined for data breaches sometimes, but their poor security habits do not seem to change. As individuals we can do our part to protect our data, but we cannot prevent the companies that have our personal data for example:
Facebook: over 540 million records exposed on publicly accessible server
Capital One: disgruntled employee exposed over 80,000 bank account numbers and 140,000 plus social security numbers
Dow Jones: 2,418,862 identity records on government officials and politicians from every country in the world was leaked online (https://www.identityforce.com/blog/2019-data-breaches)
Thank you for participating in National Cybersecurity Awareness Month. We hope you have learned something new. Feel free to contact us to learn how we can help protect your business.Tags: CyberAware, Cybersecurity, NCSAM, Privacy