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Posted by on Aug 21, 2011 in Blog, Featured, Technology | 0 comments

6 Settings On Your Web Accounts You Should Review Now

6 Settings On Your Web Accounts You Should Review Now

If you’re like me, you sign up for accounts on websites without sending the Terms of Service to your attorney for review before clicking “OK”.  And most of the time there’s a clause that allows the website to change their Terms of Service whenever they need to.

But as you sign up for social networks, you can’t forget that you have occasionally sensitive data out there.  I’m not saying, “be paranoid” — but don’t be foolish, either.  Here’s a list of six things to check on in your accounts.
You might be surprised what you’ve agreed to — by default.

1.  Facebook

Facebook is infamous for its privacy policies — and for good reason.  All of your friends and family are there, so it easily gives you a false sense of comfort.  That’s no accident.

Facebook’s lax/extremely open philosophy on its users’ privacy has been the subject of news articles in the WSJ, New York Times, and many other publications, so I won’t rehash it here.

But one default allows Facebook to use your picture and name in ads that are shown to your FB friends.  This setting makes perfect sense for a company trying to enhance its advertising effectiveness/revenue, but little sense for you.  But really, can you get pissed off at a company that does exactly what you expect them to do based on their past behavior?

It’s next to impossible to consider NOT using Facebook — 700 million users (and counting) are too attractive an audience to ignore.  Manage your inclusion in ads by going to the top right of your screen after login and clicking:  Account –> Account Settings –> Facebook Ads

Facebook Ads Settings

Also, don’t forget to periodically review the list of apps that you’ve authorized to interact with your account (Account –> Account Settings –> Applications).  If you’re like me, you’ll have a nice little batch of surprises in there waiting for you.

2.  LinkedIn

Unless you tell them otherwise, LinkedIn can use your name and photo in its advertising campaigns.  Their reasons for using your likeness are obvious. Using a familiar name or face in an ad can increase their conversions and the trust a prospective user has in them.

I think that a lot of people would look at it and say, “Hey, I only use the free version — letting them use my picture and name is fair.”  But they didn’t make it opt-in, they made it a by-default, opt-out setting.  If you don’t feel like endorsing linkedin.com, uncheck this box. It’s not terribly hard to find, so login and go to: Username > Settings > Account > Manage Social Advertising.

LinkedIn Manage Social Advertising

3. Twitter

Twitter has a really easy and great API that lots of websites use to make registering and logging in easier.  Everything from Twitter’s own iPhone and Android apps, to Twitpic and blogs use it!  There haven’t been many stories of abuse of the API, but managing the websites and applications that have access to your account is easy.  Log into Twitter and go to Settings –> Applications (or just Click Here).

4. Google

Like Twitter, it’s easy to use Google to register or log into other sites.  Go to http://accounts.google.com your account settings to see what websites have access. Your list probably includes harmless things like YouTube, but you might as well be sure.

5. Yahoo

Yahoo keeps track of your recent locations. Review them and make sure there isn’t any suspicious activity on your account by visiting their location management page. It’s kind of creepy to see a list of all the places you’ve been, so maybe clear everything anyways.

6. Gmail

Gmail also tracks your location and can be set to alert you of anything out of the ordinary, including if your account is open at any another locations.

Take a look by logging in and scrolling to the bottom of your Gmail inbox. On the right, click “details” under “Last account activity: # minutes ago.”   It will also let you logout all the other locations.  If you’re like me, there will be a few locations here because your iPhone or Android phone will be logged in, along with your iPad and maybe a second PC.

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