Using Privacy Settings in Social Media

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  • 0:03 Social Media Accounts
  • 0:53 Privacy Settings
  • 3:12 Separate Accounts
  • 4:31 Use of Email Addresses
  • 5:13 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Yuanxin (Amy) Yang Alcocer

Amy has a master's degree in secondary education and has taught math at a public charter high school.

Without the proper privacy settings on your social media accounts, your business connections may end up seeing something personal that you probably don't want to share with the whole world. In this lesson, you'll learn how to avoid this scenario.

Social Media Accounts

As more and more people have access to the Internet and smartphones, they also have social media accounts - both as individuals and businesses. A social media account is usually one with a networking service that lets users post information for other users to see. Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter are all examples of social media sites where users can create their own accounts. Users can become friends, followers, or likers of other users.

For example, has a social media account for business purposes, and so far, more than 200,000 users have liked this page. This means that when makes a post, it has the potential to reach at least 200,000 users and perhaps even more as these users share posts they find interesting.

Privacy Settings

To maintain a professional image, many businesses and individuals choose to have separate social media accounts for their social and work lives. Having the right privacy settings is important to keep professional and personal accounts separate.'s Facebook page is strictly related to the business and not the personal aspect of the company. has carefully chosen the right privacy settings so personal posts aren't available to everyone who visits the business page.

Each social media account has its own options for privacy settings:


For example, on Facebook, individuals can choose who can see their personal posts through the Privacy tab in Settings. They can also choose to let people find the through email, phone, or Internet search. Options include Public, Friends, Friends except…, Specific friends, and Only me. If you use Facebook specifically for personal reasons, such as keeping a list of bookmarks, you may want to choose Only me for your privacy setting. If you use Facebook for keeping up with friends, then you may want to choose Friends as your privacy setting. The Public setting is best suited for those posts that you want the whole world to see. For example, while you may want your friends to see a photo of you having fun at last Friday's party, if you are an employee or employer, you probably don't want your boss, colleagues, or customers to see that same picture. So you would mark this photo as Friends only and not Public.


Instagram doesn't have this level of privacy, but it does let you keep your personal account private. Business accounts are always public. A private Instagram account lets you choose your followers and see your posts. A public Instagram account lets anyone see your posts. You can access this setting under the Options menu.


Twitter also allows you to mark your account as private when you select the Protect my Tweets option in the Privacy and Safety tab of the Settings and Privacy options. In addition, Twitter lets you select who can tag you in photos they post and whether others can find you via email or phone.

There's a myriad of social media sites out there, including LinkedIn, Google+, Pinterest, and Tumblr, among others, and each has its own privacy settings. So, look through yours carefully to make sure your privacy settings are set correctly.

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