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5 Things You Misundestand About Twitter Privacy

Twitter privacy doesn’t tend to matter to people in the same way that Facebook privacy does — perhaps because Twitter’s privacy settings are pretty black-and-white, and don’t require quite as much thought. Your account is private, or it’s not. You can’t hide Tweets from particular users, and you can’t stop yourself appearing in searches. You know that. You deal with it.

But what about the things you can control?

Geo-tagging

Twitter knows where you are. Your followers know where you are. They even have a handy map with your location on it. When geo-tagging was first released, I had mine enabled and didn’t realize. One of my followers messaged me, saying he lived 2 minutes away from my house. Creepy. So, make sure yours is turned off, unless you want weird people from the Internet knowing where you live.

Account-linking

So, you’ve set up your Twitter so it cross-posts to Facebook. Everything is fine until you forget your accounts are linked. Then, it’s only a matter of time before you say something on Twitter that you wouldn’t want your real-life Facebook friends to see. This falls under social sabotage: one Tweet shared with the wrong crowd could lose you your job, your friends, and your reputation.

Choosing your followers

Set your profile to private, and only people you’ve approved will be able to follow you and see your Tweets. Unless there’s another bug, at least. If you want things to stay private, don't post them online -- even if your Tweets are protected.

Opening up your feed

If you've had a private profile and decided to open it to the public, then everything you've posted previously will also be out there for all to see. It might pay to scroll back and check your last hundred tweets for anything personal or incriminating, just in case.

Deleting Tweets

Yeah…no. If your Tweet’s been retweeted, it’s too late. If it hasn’t, chances are people have seen it anyway — and possibly even taken screenshots — so you’ll only look guilty if you go back and cover your tracks.

Have I missed anything? And have you ever tweeted something you regret?

You can find Mary C. Long on Twitter or connect with her here.