Privacy Settings

Many online services like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, WhatsApp and Kik Messenger have privacy options that include making your photographs and posts private and only available to people you choose.  Often these settings are public by default – have you checked?  If the images you post are public, automated services like ‘Google images’ will find them, copy them and post them for years to come – even if you make them private later.

Find out how to lock down your privacy settings here:

Facebook:http://www.facebook.com/help  (and choose the Privacy option on the left).

Instagram:http://help.instagram.com/116024195217477

Twitter:https://support.twitter.com/articles/14016-about-public-and-protected-tweets

and

https://support.twitter.com/groups/57-safety-security#topic_270

Snapchat:https://www.snapchat.com/safety/

Kik:https://kikinteractive.zendesk.com/entries/24745228-How-can-I-keep-my-Kik-account-private-

All social media services have privacy settings – you will need to lock them down.  If you do not know how then do a Google search – eg “google+ privacy help”.

Check out this video and discuss it with your family:

You should also make sure that personal information is locked down, or preferably not included in your profile.  Things like date of birth, telephone numbers, your school and home address should not be included as it is easy for this information to escape, even if your privacy settings are tight.  Criminals can use this information to spoof your identity and in a worst case use it to find where you are.

Location settings

Another device and privacy setting worth taking control of is Location Settings. This uses the Geo-Location capability (GPS) to add details on where you took a photograph, or may even announce where you are, on Facebook, Snapchat or WhatsApp, for instance.

You should ensure that you know how to control how an App uses your location information and how to turn location services off on your device.

This feature may be useful to you.  For example you may want to share your location with a friend (or parent) so that they can find you.  You may want to geo-locate an image or a place for future reference.  However, if your location is public, others may use the information against your wishes.  For instance you can be more easily targeted by advertising, bullies, by stalkers and other potentially unintended outcomes.  You should understand and be able to control these capabilities so that they work for YOU, not others.

How to manage these settings on your device:

Apple iOS: https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT207092

Android: https://support.google.com/accounts/answer/3467281?hl=en

Refer to the privacy settings for each App to control how it uses your device location services.

Strike a balance in your online world!