Consumer, Family Safety

Those Pesky Privacy Settings

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By on Oct 17, 2011

There has been a lot of talk in the news lately about privacy settings. Facebook, Verizon and even Etsy have all been making changes to their Privacy Settings. With all this talk about privacy settings, I think it is easy for people’s eyes to glaze over them or throw their hands up and say “I give up!”

This is important for all of us to understand and just put a small amount of time into keeping our information safe. My friend Linda Criddle just wrote a post  explaining what type of information gets collected about you while you surf and why you need to understand that you are a commodity to the websites you use.

Once you understand this, you can take some small steps to protect yourself online. These steps include:

1. Reading privacy settings before you join
2. Changing privacy settings on websites you use
3. Finding the “opt-out” clause for services and sites you use
4. Understanding what information you are making public

I have found some articles and helpful tips that I would like to share with you. First up on the list, Facebook! Facebook continues to hit the headlines with the recent dramatic changes they made to the site. See their webpage for a long list of FAQ’s about all of their changes here. For a video tutorial, see this post on Cnet.com. I especially like the visuals of exactly what you have to do to make sure you aren’t inadvertently oversharing.

If you are like me and like to shop on etsy.com, you may be aware that they began making your favorite shops and (in some cases) your purchase history public via “Circles”. They recently changed that back, making your purchase history private, but for the latest information regarding privacy settings on the site see this post.

Verizon recently made some changes to their privacy settings that means that they want to track your surfing habits on your mobile phone. See this article for info and go to www.vzw.com/myprivacy to check your settings. Make sure you are logged in and you expand each section to understand what information you are sharing by using their services.  As a Verizon customer, I found it relatively painless to figure out, but let me know if you find any of these pages confusing and I will try to help.

And just for fun, check out this cute post.

Stay safe out there!

Tracy

@McAfeeCyberMom on Twitter

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