Today is the National Cyber Security Alliance’s (NCSA) Data Privacy Day also known as Data Protection Day in Europe. To mark the day, Neowin thought it’d be a good idea to let people know how they can optimise their Facebook and Google accounts for greater privacy.
Facebook and Google are by far the biggest online players, even if you try to avoid Facebook you'll probably end up on one of its other services like WhatsApp and if you avoid Google Search you probably frequent YouTube or use and Android phone. Both firms have come under heavy scrutiny in recent years over their behaviour and have subsequently introduced tools to ensure privacy settings are tweaked to your liking.
To perform a privacy check-up on Facebook, you’ll need to press the little downward-facing arrow at the top right of your Facebook feed. From there, head to Security & Privacy then press Privacy Checkup.
With Privacy Checkup you can control who can see what you post, how people can find you on Facebook, your data sharing settings, what information is used for showing you ads and how to keep your account more secure. Each of the sections has short slides explaining each feature with options for you to customise your settings. If you need additional help, check out this page.
Google has a similar privacy check-up tool which you can access by heading over to the Data & personalisation section of your Google Account. At the top of the page, you should see a box that reads “Take the Privacy Check-Up” with an option to “Get started”, hit that when you’re ready.
In the Privacy Check-Up area, you can set up your account to automatically delete web & app activity, location history and YouTube history. If you’re sharing your location with anyone Google will remind you and give you the option to cancel sharing and you can review your ad settings to disable personalisation. The options to auto-delete your Google account activities can be set to delete after 3 months, 18 months, 36 months or never but the more data Google has, the more it can personalise your experience.
While these tools are not too difficult to find or use, you may not have known that they existed. Hopefully, if you’re uneasy about how much data is being collected, you’ll be able to put more controls in place using these tools to enhance your online privacy.