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Privacy settings

Why is privacy online important?

Every time we share something online we add a bit more information about ourselves to the online world. This includes posting a photo, writing a comment or liking someone’s video.

The trail of information we create when we share things online is often called our ‘digital footprint’. People we know, and people we don’t know, can see our digital footprint and use it to learn more about us.

This means sometimes people can see things online or learn things about us we don’t want them to see or know.

How can I protect my privacy online?

You can take control of your digital footprint by using privacy settings.

Privacy settings help you to choose who can see what you post and share.

Privacy settings are usually located under ‘Settings’ or ‘My Account’ on devices, apps and websites.

What restrictions can I apply?

Different devices, apps and websites let you control different things. Some restrictions you can apply are:

  • You can make your account private
  • You can turn off location tracking or limit when this happens
  • You can control who can see things you post
  • You can control who can comment on things you post
  • You can control who can share things you post
  • You can control who can tag you in posts
  • You can control who can send you private messages
  • You can control who can search for and find your account
  • You can limit what information the platform stores about you

Sometimes apps offer a ‘privacy check-up or review’ to help you look at the most important privacy settings.

Tips for protecting your privacy online

  1. Know who you are sharing your information with. Think about who you want to be able to see what you are posting.
  2. Know what you look like online. Google yourself to see what other people can find about you.
  3. Remember that what your friends post affects you too. Things they post about you adds to your digital footprint.
  4. Review your social media profiles regularly. See if there is anything you want to delete or that you’d rather no one else could see.
  5. Delete old accounts. These might have old pictures, videos or information you no longer want to share with the online world.
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