Twitter Privacy Settings Walk-Through

Whether you’re new to Twitter and just creating an account, or an existing experienced user, reviewing and understanding Twitter’s privacy settings is a must for anybody that values their privacy.

2017 Twitter, Inc.

Why review privacy settings? The privacy settings you choose help protect you from unwanted activity on your account, prevents your sensitive information from being accessed by harmful individuals, and best of all, it only takes a couple of minutes to set up. If you’re thinking, “I don’t need to do this, I have nothing to hide.” Edward Snowden begs to differ…

“Arguing that you don’t care about privacy because you have nothing to hide is like arguing that you don’t care about free speech because you have nothing to say.” — Edward Snowden (Business Insider, 2016)

To start, log into your Twitter account and navigate to Settings and privacy. First we’ll review the Account tab which contains the login verification and password reset verification options (see image below).

Twitter’s account settings page

The first option under the Security section is the login verification option. As Twitter puts it, “After you log in, Twitter will send a SMS message with a code that you’ll need to access your account.” In other words, check this box to enable two-step authentication. The second option to enable verification during password reset is a no-brainer — enabling this will require you to confirm either your email or phone number before resetting your password.

That’s it for the Account tab! Now let’s move onto the Privacy and safety tab which contains the rest of the settings we’re interested in for this walk-through.

Twitter’s privacy and safety settings page

Compared to the Account tab, there’s a lot more settings here regarding a person’s privacy and security while using the site. Without going through the entire list of settings and explaining each check box (which Twitter already does), this would be a good time to mention how important it is to carefully read each explanation and familiarize yourself with all the options and restrictions you may or may not want to enable.

If you don’t know which options to enable, a good place to start is to ask yourself how you intend to use the site. For example, do you want everybody to be able to read your tweets, or do you only want your followers and people you approve to be able to read them? If it’s the latter and you only want to interact with your followers, be sure to check off the very first box. Doing so will switch your account to private and it will not be visible to anybody you don’t approve.

Going through these settings is essential in order to stay in control of your privacy and security. With a simply tick of a box you can prevent your information or private thoughts from being accessed by unknown individuals. Of course it goes without saying that even with all the necessary options enabled to keep your account private, you cannot truly be 100% private on the internet.

For more information on privacy, visit Twitter’s support page here.

Final tip: For added security beyond the settings, do not use your real name as your username unless you want to be easily identified by other users.

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