We’re so deeply plugged into social media these days that untangling ourselves from it seems like more trouble than doing nothing. 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. Tap or click for Facebook settings to change right now.
But what if you’re not sure how to change the settings for your favorite site? A new app is offering the ability to clean up your privacy settings and digital history across several platforms. Let’s see if it lives up to 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 Google and Alexa aren’t social media sites, they do harvest user data for advertising and machine learning. And Jumbo plans to introduce support for more services like Instagram and Tinder in the near future.
Each featured service has cleaning functions exclusive to the individual data-collecting platforms. The reason for this is the fact that each service uses your data in different ways. This means each privacy remedy must be tailored.
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 the previous 24 hours. Jumbo can only delete 3,200 tweets 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. With Alexa, the data that’s used is based on recordings of your voice — a doubly complicated privacy situation. Tap or click here to see what Alexa is up to when you’re not looking.
Jumbo makes it easy to dump this data, though. Opening the menus for Google and Alexa gives 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, then follow the onscreen prompts.
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. Tap or click here for cybersecurity 101: How to stay safe online.
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 your best defense.