A Cheat Sheet on How to Keep Your Online Data Private

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Online data private

After the recent Facebook data breach scandal with Cambridge Analytica, even the most carefree social media users have taken a moment to pause and reconsider exactly what they have shared and with whom. Have you checked the apps on your phone lately? You would be wise to at least go through the ones you use actively and keep an eye on when they change their privacy settings, which they do very frequently.

Funny thing is that these social media apps are legally required to update users each time they change these settings, but users often don’t even pay attention (just like you didn’t pay attention to the multiple GDPR-related emails that were sent to your inbox in May). Here’s a quick list of the usual suspects for you to go through.

What steps can you take to keep your online data private?


Let’s start with the big one. Go to the drop-down arrow on the top right of your page and click on SETTINGS. Then go to the left-hand panel to check your PRIVACY SETTINGS. This will show you details of who can see your future and past posts and also who can find you online.

Online data private_privacy setting and tools

If you click on the TIMELINE AND TAGGING settings, you can also control who can see posts that you are tagged in.

privacy_Timeline and tagging

The thing with Facebook is that since it has been around so long, you may not even remember the number of times you added other apps to take a quiz, to vote for a cause or to build your own farm or empire. To see a list of the apps that you have given access to, follow these steps:

  1. Click on down arrow on top right of page and go to SETTINGS
  2. Click on APPS & WEBSITES on left corner
  3. View ACTIVE, EXPIRED and REMOVED apps and check who has your data.

Picture3_apps and websites

You can delete apps that you do not use anymore but ‘expired’ only means that the apps can’t ask you for new information. So the information shared earlier, is still with them.

To avoid doing this in the future again, before you click on ‘Play Now’, review the info that you are providing.

Read more: How Social Media Can Make Or Break Your Career


Instagram accounts are public by default. If you want to limit your information, you can choose to set your account to private and choose which follow requests to accept. You can also block users that bother you. The steps for Apple and Android phones are slightly different.

iPhone IOS:

  • Go to profile
  • Tap settings
  • Turn privacy on


Instagram_2_data privacy


  • Go to the account icon
  • Tap the ‘more’ icon (three dots)

To block users:

If you have recently switched to a private account, your existing followers will still have access to your content. You could of course, choose to keep them. However, if someone in particular seems to bother you, then follow these simple steps:

Go to the users’ profile

  • Tap ‘more’
  • Block or Report

Instagram_Data privacy


With Linkedin, you want most of your information to be as visible as possible. Users pay extra to get a Premium Linkedin account with higher visibility to attract more opportunities. It gets trickier though, when it comes to updates and changes you make to your profile. If you got a promotion or a new job, you might feel like announcing it to the world!

However, if you are currently employed and are actively searching for a job, you will probably not want your colleagues or manager to see that you are jazzing up your online resume. So, that’s the bit we are going to talk about here.

  • Go to your profile page
  • Click on the drop-down button under ME
  • Tap on SHARING PROFILE EDITS and slide to NO

LinkedIn_Data privacy

Related: How To Stay Safe From Online Scams In Singapore


What makes snapchat special is that the pictures disappear moments after they are sent out. However, the same may be hard to say about your personal info shared. Here are some easy steps to keep in check what is on display.

  • Tap in the top right-hand corner of the Profile screen
  • Scroll down to the ‘Who Can…’ section and tap an option.
  • Choose an option, then tap the back button to save your choice

The ‘who can…’ section includes: who can Contact Me, who can View My Story and who can See Me in Quick Add.

data privacy

Read more about Snapchat settings here.

These little checks would just take a few moments, but can save you a lot of trouble later. When it comes to social media, we agree with Linkedin when they say, ‘you are the boss of your account!’

Related: 5 Online Scams In Singapore That You Should Know So You Don’t Get Fooled


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