We should be aware of these things to protect privacy on twitter for account security. Twitter is a fairly simple and basic social network, but although it offers you more possibilities of anonymity when using it, not all of it is good news in privacy, and there are many settings that it does not have compared to others. But that doesn’t mean you can’t have any privacy in it.
For this reason, we bring you a guide to protect your Twitter privacy as much as possible with the options it offers you. We are going to focus on the web version, although you will also find all the options in its mobile applications.
Think about your username
Twitter is one of the few large social networks that allow you to put the username you want and the account name without having to be your real name or have your last name. This means that you are free to take an important first step in protecting your privacy through identity by not using your real data.
But not everyone is going to want to not use their real name. Basically, in this security measure you will have to decide between a plus of privacy or personal brand. If you want to have a good personal brand on social networks, it is normal that you use at least your real name. But if you want to maximize privacy, this is not so advisable. So it all depends on how you want to use Twitter.
The good news is that you will be able to change your username whenever you want, so if you regret it after making a decision you can always go back. In addition, this is only one of the options available to improve your privacy, and in this case it is above all a measure for other users, so if what concerns you are more internal aspects of your privacy for Twitter, you have other things you can do.
If you want to change the username, you have to go to the side menu of the web or the Twitter app, and enter Settings and privacy. Once inside, enter your account information, and click on the Username option to change the one you have to another.
Secure password and two-step verification
And although it is not strictly a privacy measure but a security measure, I cannot consider this complete guide if I do not mention at least once that you should make sure to use a password as secure as possible, and that it is one that you do not have repeated in other services. Thus, if one of your passwords were to be leaked due to a hack, you would not run the risk of using it on Twitter and having your account accessed.
In Engadget Basics we have already explained how to create a secure password, and you also have the advice of the experts. Also, if you can’t think of it, you can also resort to these strong password generators, and if so many different password bothers you, we also have recommendations for password managers. To change it, in your account options within Settings and privacy, you will have an option called Change your password.
It is also important to activate two-step verification of Twitter, an option that you have in the settings within the security section and account access, and within the Security section. If you need it, here is the step by step guide.
With this, the password will no longer be enough to log into your account with a new device, since a password will be sent to your mobile to verify that it is you. You can also use security keys and authentication apps. This is an almost essential security measure, since even if your password to access the account is filtered or guessed, it cannot be accessed from a device or browser for the first time unless you do that second verification.
Make your tweets private
Twitter lets you decide if you want your tweets and profile information to be public and for anyone to see them, or if you want them to be private so that only people who follow you can see them . If you make your account private in this way, when someone wants to follow you they will have to send you a request, and you will have to decide if that person becomes a follower and can see your data and publications.
To configure your account and make it private, you have to enter the Twitter settings, clicking on the Settings and privacy option. Once inside, click on Privacy and security, and when you are in this menu click on Audience and labels. Now, when you enter this menu, you only have to activate the Protect your Tweets option so that your account and its content are marked as private.
Prevent other people from tagging you in their photos
Within the same Audience and tags options you have the option of Tagging photos. Therefore, after following the same steps that we explained in the previous point, you will be able to deactivate the option for other people to tag you in their photos, so that only you can tag yourself in the photos you want.
With this, you will lose the social ability that others can include you in group memories. However, you are going to avoid being tagged in photos that you don’t want, either in an attempt to harm your image or spam you by including yourself in tagged photos. Therefore, it is one of those options that unless you use it often, it can be interesting to always have it disabled.
Decide who can find you
In the Twitter settings, you will be able to deactivate the option that people who have your email or your phone can find you. Thus, if you want to control who can find your account on the social network in the event that you want to maintain anonymity, you can prevent these people from suggesting Twitter to add you if you are in their contacts, both with the phone and with the email with which you are registered.
To change these settings, you have to enter the Twitter settings, and there click on the Privacy and security option. In there, you have to enter the Visibility and contacts section, and you must look at the Visibility section. Here you will have the two options that you can activate or deactivate with a button that you have on your right.
Delete or manage uploaded contacts
In the mobile application, Twitter will sometimes ask you to import your contacts to personalize your experience, to recommend who to follow, and so on. And these contacts can be used to trace your relationships and they are more data about you than Twitter has, so you will also be able to manage them on the web and the app.
To do this, you will have to go back into the Twitter settings, within Privacy and security, and there give Visibility and contacts. Inside, in the Contacts section, click on the Manage contacts option, where you will see the list of all those that you have uploaded and the option to Delete all contacts .
Check which applications have access to your account
Whether it’s to log in, create an account, or simply import follower data or other interactions, over time you may have linked various third-party applications and services to your Twitter account. Even if you have linked them for a specific moment, they remain linked until you unlink them, obtaining data about you and your interactions while they remain so.
For this reason, it is highly recommended to unlink all applications and services that you no longer need to continue extracting data from your Twitter account. To do this, enter the settings and go to Security and access to the account, and there click on the Applications and sessions option. When you enter inside, you will have to click on the Connected Applications option.
Within Connected Applications you will see a list with all the applications and services that you have linked to your Twitter account, and that therefore have continuous access to your data. Click on the app you want to delete and give the option to Revoke access to unlink it. When you click or press on the app or service, you will go to a description where you will be told the permissions it has so that you can make an informed decision knowing what it is getting from you.
Be careful when granting permissions
And when you are going to link new accounts of other services or applications to Twitter, be careful with the permissions that you are going to grant them. Most will only ask your permission for what they need for all the functions they offer, but there are others that will try to abuse your trust to allow you more account permissions and thus extract more data about you.
In short, you should look to detect abusive permissions. And if an app asks you for permissions that it does not need, it is very possible that it will also use those that it would need in a bad way. For example, some apps will ask you for permission to write in your name when you use their options to share results, but it is already strange that they ask you for other permissions such as blocking other people. In short, the more permits they ask for, the more you must raise your guard to check if they all need them.
Manage where your account is accessed from
This option can also be more security, but it is also worth to take care of your privacy. Twitter lets you know from where your account has been accessed, being able to know the sessions that have been started, those that are active and the devices from which it has been done. This way you can make sure that other people have not entered your account without you noticing.
To do this, enter the settings and go to Security and account access, and there click on the Applications and sessions option. When you enter inside, you will see the following options, which will serve for what we tell you now:
- Sessions : It tells you from which devices your account has been logged into. You will also be able to know the active devices, which are those where Twitter is being used now with your account.
- Account access history: It tells you the list of all the times your account has been accessed and from where. The time, the date, the application used and the IP from where it has been accessed are said.
- Devices and applications that signed in: It tells you the list of different devices that are signed in to your account. You are also told when the access was activated.
Decide who can send you private messages
If it bothers you that anyone can send you private messages, or you just don’t want spam messages to reach you, Twitter has two options for it. To enter them, you have to go to the Twitter settings, and click on the Privacy and security section. Here, click on the Direct Messages option, and inside you will find the two options.
The first option is Allow everyone’s message requests. If you activate it, any user can send you private messages, and if you deactivate it, only the users you follow can send them. Below you can also activate a filter for low quality messages, to prevent most private messages that are spam from reaching you. Twitter will identify them with algorithms that instantly analyze the words of those messages.
Prevent others from knowing when you read their private messages
In the previous menu there is a third option, and that is to deactivate read receipts in private messages. If you deactivate this option, when someone sends you a private message, they will not be able to know if you have read it or not. It is something like deactivating the double blue check of WhatsApp, but on Twitter.
Prevent Twitter from knowing your interests
The Twitter algorithms are constantly analyzing your interactions and the topics that you usually review the most, and with this they build a list of what they consider to be your personal interests. With this list, the social network personalizes both the personalized content that it suggests and the ads that are shown to you. The good news is that the list can be edited by removing items, so you can refine the results or remove everything to prevent it from knowing your tastes.
To access this menu, go to the Twitter settings, which is called Settings and privacy. Inside, go to the Privacy and security section, and enter Ads Preferences. Here, now enter Interests to see the list of them that Twitter has collected about you. The only thing you have to do is to deactivate all the interests that you want that are not linked to your account, and may even be all. In this case, Twitter will generate your profile from scratch again.
In Ads Preferences it is also important for your privacy to deactivate the Custom Ads option. By doing so, Twitter will stop showing you personalized ads based on combining your activity within the social network with your activity outside of it.
Control the rest of the information that Twitter collects
And we are going to finish with another series of data that Twitter collects about you to generate an internal profile of you, and that you can share with other companies of advertisers. These settings can be found in various sections of the Privacy and security section of the Twitter settings, but on this web page you can find a menu that collects them all.
When you enter that Personalization and data page, the first thing you see is a convenient button to deactivate or activate all the options. And then, you have the Personalization section, which offers you the following options, which it is advisable to disable to maximize privacy:
- Personalized ads: It is the option with which we have finished the previous point. If you disable it, Twitter will not show you personalized ads using the data it collects about you within the platform, but also outside through its cookies.
- Customize according to your inferred identity: This is something important, because if you leave it activated, you will make Twitter complete the profile it has with your information, not only with what you say when using it, but also with what you do not say. It will take into account, for example, the browsers and devices that you do not use.
- Customize based on where you’ve been: Twitter will use the information about the locations from which you connect, and with this option enabled, it will use this location history to show you personalized content based on these locations.
And below you have another section that is the Data. What you can do is deactivate the permission for Twitter to exchange information about you with other advertisers, so that you do not give your data to them and you can protect your privacy a little more. Below you also have the option to consult and download all the data that Twitter has about you.