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How to use privacy tools for popular services and apps

After School

“Anonymous” app After School does not have typical privacy settings because users do not have a profile that can be viewed or shared. All user posts are by default anonymous unless a person includes his or her name in a post. After School outlines its privacy policies on its website. For more, see ConnectSafely’s A Parent’s Guide to After School.

Facebook

Facebook has a privacy settings page but it also has “in-line privacy” settings for each post. Each time you post, there is an icon such as a globe for public or other image to indicate if you’re sharing with friends, friends of friends, only me, specific friends or a custom list. This gives you an enormous amount of granular control. You could, for example, create a list of friends or family members and send a specific post just to them. Note that this setting is sticky so it stays in place until you change it. If, for example, you decide to post something to Public, you’ll need to change it back to Friends or whatever you prefer, the next time you post — otherwise that post, too, will be public.

Google

Google has numerous services that can be viewed and changed on its Control, protect, and secure your account page. Google also has a Privacy Checkup that allows you to review and adjust your settings and a page that lets you review and delete a record of your Google activity.

Links to ConnectSafely parents guides or privacy pages on other services

Instagram

By default everyone can see your posts and photos on Instagram but you can restrict them so that they can only be seen by approved followers. This “Controlling your visibility” help page explains how to create a private account as well another information on how to protect your privacy on Instagram. Also see ConnectSafely’s Parents Guide to Instagram.

Kik

Unlike most phone-based messengers, Kik uses usernames, not phone numbers, to identify users. Read more on the Kik website and in ConnectSafely parent’s guide.

LinkedIn

LinkedIn’s Understanding your privacy settings page explains that there is a privacy tab that allows you to control who can see your profile and information.

Roblox 

Access to privacy settings depends on the device being used to access the platform. Roblox’s privacy and cookie page explains its policies in detail.

Snapchat

The default “My Friends” setting only allows users to send and receive media from users they have added to their friends list. That, and other settings can be changed as explained in this help page.

Twitter

Twitter is “asynchronous” which means that you can have followers who you don’t necessarily follow. By default, anyone can follow you, which means they have access to all of your tweets. However, there are ways you can post privately by protecting your tweets so that only people you approve can see what you post.

This Twitter privacy and safety page allows you to protect your tweets but also allows you to turn off your location, prevent people from tagging you in photos and manage other aspects of your privacy and safety.

Twitter also allows you to restrict specific accounts from contacting you or seeing your tweets. Here is a page that explains How to block accounts on twitter.

WhatsApp  

WhatsApp outlines its default privacy settings, including advice for adjusting settings based on the device you’re using.

YouTube 

YouTube is owned by Google so its privacy settings are controlled in a Google account. Google also has a Privacy Checkup that allows you to review and adjust your settings and a page that lets you review and delete a record of your Google activity.

Source: Connect Safety

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