From 2018 to the past few months of 2019, our personal data from social media sites and other tech giants has been hacked, scandalized and or abused breaching our privacy. It is now high time we go through the default privacy settings of most of these sites. In this guide, we’ll try and simplify the settings and change the default and bring back control back to you. Most of the steps work well if you access the sites from the web.
Change who can see your Facebook friends from public to friends or only me using this link.
Review posts you’re tagged in before the post appears on your timeline using this link.
Switch to No to Facebook’s face recognition using this link. Facebook won’t be able to recognize you in photos and videos and thus won’t recommend tagging you in photos but the downside is that you won’t get a heads-up from the social media giant when someone else posts a photo of you. It has its own privacy controversies.
On the Ad preferences settings page, head over and switch off ads based on your relationship status, employer, job title and education
While you’re still here, scroll down and toggle on the Not Allowed for Ads based on your activity on Facebook Company Products that you see elsewhere and Ads based on data from partners.
To turn off personalized advertising, use this link. The link gives you access to your dashboard where you can disagree or toggle off options including Precise Location.
Turn off web and app activity so that Google doesn’t know you well and while you’re there you can also pause location history. Google has said that in the future it will stop asking you to turn on this function when you first set up Google Assistant on your Android phone.
Turn off Ads personalization too.
UPDATE: Google has brought incognito mode to maps. It was earlier on available for YouTube. When enabled, your Maps Activity won’t be saved to your Google Account and thus you won’t Google won’t use that activity to personalize your Maps experience.
YouTube is also getting auto-delete. Just like how you could automatically tell Google to delete your Location History and Web & App Activity, you can set the time period for Google to keep your YouTube history for 3 months, 18 months, or until you delete it.
You will also be able to delete Assistant Activity from your Google account by just saying “Hey Google, delete the last thing I said to you” or “Hey Google, delete everything I said to you last week.” This feature is enabled by default when you ask the Assistant for help.
The new password checkup will examine a user’s saved passwords if they have been compromised in any way. The feature already available for Google web and Android phones, will be introduced in Chrome browser before the year ends. Check it out here.
On the iPhone, turn on Limit Ad Tracking.
If you don’t use Cortana, you can delete what it already knows. Use this link, click view and clear the data it has collected. Go to the Cortana Tab and clear Cortana Data.
On your laptop, go to Settings > Privacy > General and turn off Let apps use advertising ID to make ads more interesting to you based on your app usage.
Delete Alexa recordings by clicking this link.
Turn off voice purchasing by going to the settings of the Alexa app and scrolling down to Voice Purchasing. This will stop anyone with access to your Echo speaker and stop random purchases when they talk to it. You can also add a voice code too.
Set your Amazon wish list to private. Tap the three dots next to the share list, tap manage list and then switch from private.
This link will stop Amazon from tracking you. Head to Browsing History on the Amazon homepage, click View and Edit and then turn off Manage History.
Switch to Private Mode too.
Toggle Sharing Profile edits to No so that LinkedIn doesn’t broadcast your change in your connection.
Change your birthday visibility. Go to LinkedIn, click on the Me icon, View Profile, Tap on contact info, click edit when the window pops up and then under birthday select Only You.