Updated: December 20, 2020
Recently, the Protect Young Eyes Team celebrated Privacy Week with seven days of helpful tips for protecting your data. Here are all seven Facebook posts for easy access (we also posted these on Instagram):
- Day 1 – 12 Million Homes. One Nation Tracked (NY Times).
- Day 2 – Your iPhone is not a private device!
- Day 3 – Deleting internet ad preferences. I just gave away gift ideas with banner ads!
- Day 4 – Social media privacy – this blog post!
- Day 5 – Is Facebook listening to me? How did I get that ad?
- Day 6 – Android privacy settings.
- Day 7 – Google privacy check.
Below, you’ll find helpful privacy tips for a multitude of websites and platforms by category.
Let’s start off with social media. The grand daddy of data privacy violations.
When was the last time you checked the privacy settings on your favorite social media platform? Some of you have been using Facebook for a decade, slowly accepting friends. Now ask yourself -> do you want to show your 10-year-old group of Facebook “friends” every picture of your kids from this summer?
Social Media Privacy Explained
There are two ways to define social media privacy.
#1 – maybe you have a private account, which means the only people who can see your content and activity are those who you’ve “accepted” or given permission to see what you post.
#2 – social media apps engage in interest-based advertising and share your information with third parties who then show you interest-based ads within the app. When you really dig into the privacy policies of your favorite apps, you often find that they are sharing your data with a lot of third parties.
Controlling both is very important.
How to Perform a Social Media Privacy Audit
Step 1: review all of your followers on all of your social media platforms. Delete those who you haven’t interacted with in at least 12 months. In the case of Facebook, this includes answering the question, “when was the last time I even saw any of their content in my News Feed?” If you can’t remember, then even Facebook’s algorithm doesn’t think you need to interact with this person based on your activity.
Step 2: review your social media privacy settings. The links below will show you how to create a more private account (if the app has a private account option) and how to control how your data is shared with third parties:
Update Privacy Settings in These Other Popular Spaces:
E-Commerce Privacy Settings:
Email and Voice Communication Privacy:
Privacy Settings for Search Engines and Browsers:
- DuckDuckGo Privacy Search Engine
- Google Historical Data
- Google Ad Preferences
- Microsoft Privacy Settings (including Bing)
- Firefox Focus Private Browser
- Google Chrome
- Internet Explorer
- Mozilla Firefox
Privacy Settings for Smart Speakers:
Privacy Settings for Streaming Music:
Privacy Settings for Other, Miscellaneous Items:
Beyond just privacy, you might want to exert even more control over certain apps. For example, controlling what kinds of articles are shown in Snapchat’s Discover News. Our app profiles for “The Big 3” – Instagram, Snapchat, and TikTok – give every detail for controlling as much as possible in these uber-popular apps: