We're so deeply plugged into social media these days that untangling ourselves from them seems like more trouble than doing nothing. Even though Facebook, Twitter, and Google have all been caught mishandling user data, most people don't know the first thing about restoring their online privacy.
With tech companies making privacy more complicated than ever, how is anybody supposed to keep their personal lives separate from their digital lives? Thankfully, some app developers have been working on a number of creative privacy solutions for users.
A new app is offering the ability to clean up your privacy settings and digital history for several platforms. I'll show you if it's worth the hype.
How to clean your social media accounts with Jumbo for iOS
Jumbo for iOS is a free app that connects to multiple service accounts for privacy optimization. Currently, the app supports Twitter, Facebook, Google and Alexa.
While the latter two services aren't social media, they do harvest user data for advertising and machine learning. More services like Instagram and Tinder are being added to Jumbo in the near future.
Each service featured has cleaning functions exclusive to the platform. The reason for this is the fact that each service uses your data in different ways. This means each privacy remedy is tailored to your needs for each platform.
All you need to do is adjust each menu item to your liking and log in to your accounts. The app uses a single sign-on process that keeps the data local to your phone, so your login information is private and secure.
Delete old tweets with Jumbo
For Twitter, users are able to clean all previous tweets up to a specific point -- even everything older than one day. If you have more than 3,200 tweets, the app can only delete that many at a time, but the feature can be used over and over again.
This is a major plus for privacy-minded Twitter users, since deleting tweets individually is an extremely time consuming process. Jumbo also archives your tweets to your phone, making sure you don't lose anything worth keeping.
Optimize Facebook privacy with Jumbo
Jumbo works with Facebook using something it calls "smart privacy setting." This means Jumbo has put together optimal Facebook privacy settings at different levels of intensity.
The sliding menu lets you decide exactly how deep you want to go, and changes settings for visibility, face recognition and ads. Plus, any settings you've already made on Facebook proper won't be changed to a less restrictive option -- even if you set to weak or medium intensity.
Delete search history and voice recordings on Google and Amazon
Both Google and Amazon use your search history for advertising and recommendations. As you browse the internet, various websites that use Amazon or Google web services have access to this data.
It's the reason you'll see ads for things you've recently looked at on Amazon, for example. With Alexa, the data that's used is based on recordings of your voice -- a doubly complicated privacy situation.
Jumbo makes it easy to dump this data, though. Opening the menus for Google and Alexa give you the option to purge this information completely. In Google's case, you can dump your search history up to a certain point just like you can in Chrome. When you're ready to start, simply log in with your user account.
How to stay private online
When browsing the web or searching, private browsing modes like Chrome's Incognito Mode are useful at keeping basic history data hidden from advertisers.
Doing some cleaning with apps like Jumbo every now and then isn't just smart, it's necessary to keep your online identity safe from bad actors.
We never know when the next big data breach will hit. If your account gets leaked but there's nothing of value inside, it can't be used against you. In this case, being proactive with your privacy is the best defense of all.
You can't delete Facebook on certain phones, and people are furious
Facebook has constantly been leaking our personal information, spying on us and so much more. I have been saying for years now that it might be time to ditch the social media platform. Well, what if you go to delete the app from your phone and it won't let you? That's exactly what's happening to users of these smartphones. Have you tried deleting Facebook? Tap or click to find out what you can do.