My (Lack of) Privacy

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Until tonight, I have never really considered my (lack of) privacy on the Internet. My Facebook privacy settings have always been the defaults, which basically shared everything with everyone. My Twitter feed has been public, included location data, and relayed everything to Facebook and LinkedIn. My Foursquare check-ins have been relayed to Twitter, and so on. Not only is a lot of this information seen as spam by many people who read it, but I am realizing that a lot of it should be kept private. So, who should see what?

Facebook’s privacy settings are somewhat complicated. Things that I consider to be private (birthday, wall posts, comments) are now only viewable by friends. Photos and some other profile information (political and religious views, etc.) are viewable by friends of friends. Profile pictures and my biography are viewable by everyone (allows people to find and befriend me).

Twitter’s privacy settings are simple. I can choose whether to make my feed public or protected, and choose whether or not to include location data. I am still unsure what to do about this one. Should I protect my feed or should I filter what I post to Twitter? If I filter what I post to Twitter, that means that I might actually need to log in to Facebook to post semi-private content (which I never do because I am lazy). For the time being, I have decided to leave my feed public, but I have disabled location data.

Deciding what to do about Foursquare was fairly easy. I am just going to filter what I have relayed to Twitter (very little) and Facebook (probably everything). My only outstanding question is if I relay to Facebook and Twitter, will I have duplicate posts on Facebook since I have Twitter relay to Facebook? I guess I will have to wait until the next time I check in.

I do not really care to provide my professional connections on LinkedIn with a window into my private life. If they are a friend as well as a coworker, then they are probably already my friend on Facebook. I have enabled filtering (via #in) for tweets imported into LinkedIn, which means that I will probably never post anything to LinkedIn again.

I made all of these decisions and changes within the last couple of hours, so there is a good chance that I will change things in the near future, but I feel much better about my privacy now that I did earlier today.