Twitter makes privacy easy — have you checked your settings?

Security & Privacy

One of the best parts of Twitter is that it makes privacy is simple: Either your tweets are private or they are public.

In the recent past there have been some slight privacy concerns. Private tweets were spotted in public searches and this is still possible, thanks to third-party apps. But the second largest social media company has been progressively cutting off access to third-party developers, which has made it easier for it and its customers to control data.

There are still some security and privacy settings you should check. So let’s do it.

In Settings > Security and privacy, consider the following settings:

X Send login verification requests to the Twitter app
This requires connecting a phone to your account, which gives Twitter lots of data about you — but two-factor authentication is the way to go when it comes to securing your account.

X Require personal information to reset my password.
Yep. Everyone knows your username, so don’t make it any easier.

X Always require a password to log in to my account.
Layers of security = good.

[ ] Add a location to my Tweets.
Make sure this box is unchecked unless you want to meet strangers at inopportune times. Why not click Delete all location information while you’re at it?

[ ] Tailor Twitter based on my recent website visits
If you don’t like targeted advertising, unclick this.

[ ] Tailor ads based on information shared by ad partners.
Twitter knows you quite well so unless you want to be influenced to buy more stuff you may not need, uncheck this.

[ ] Receive Direct Messages from anyone
This is a new feature. Unless you’re in an industry — like journalism or sales — that benefits from unsolicited contacts, you probably don’t want to opt-in to it, especially since Twitter is removing the character limit on Direct Messages. Do you really need another inbox?

Now, here’s the bad news.

Twitter is changing — perhaps drastically. It’s in the process of replacing its CEO in order to speed up growth and catch up with Facebook, which has successfully become what may be the most potent advertising platform on Earth.

We know that it’s aquired artificial intelligence technology for its ads. And we know that it’s going deeper into the media business with an event platform called Project Lightning. This could dramatically change its relationship with users.

But the clear public/private dichotomy will likely remain with more features to make the site — which has a famously high learning curve — more friendly to new users and lurkers. Or else, the site risks risking losing the tens of millions of users who have learned to love it.

[Image by Kooroshication | Flickr]



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