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Privacy

Watch Out: Other people can see the embarrassing things you ‘like’ on social media

Social media is fantastic, isn’t it? You can communicate with friends and family instantly from anywhere in the world, find new products, and do dozens of other fun and practical activities.

All that fun, though, comes with a price. Everything becomes public when we live our lives on social media, and maintaining any semblance of privacy becomes impossible. Tap or click here for 10 Facebook privacy and security settings you need to change right now.

Until you get your settings exactly right, there’s a chance that just about anyone can see your activity online, even if it’s embarrassing. So watch out. Here’s what others can see on social media and how to hide it.

Your ex can see you

Until 2019, you could quickly locate a list of photos and posts that specific people had viewed on Facebook and Instagram. While this seems harmless enough, do you want your ex getting a report that you’ve liked 200+ of his posts and photos? Probably not.

RELATED: True or false: Someone can see if you looked at their Facebook profile

Thankfully, Facebook and Instagram got their heads together and shut this down. But they can still see quite a lot. If you are mutual friends with somebody or are simply on the same page or group, they can see what posts you’ve liked, and you can see theirs.

Though there isn’t a curated list anymore, the information is still out there. Depending on the topic, you may not want your exes’ new girlfriend or your mother-in-law to see you’ve been all over a particular page or a profile.

It’s easy enough to hide your likes on Facebook and Instagram, but for good measure, you should consider making all your accounts private so you control who sees what and when.

Hiding your likes on Facebook

Facebook has upped its privacy features in the last few years and gives you a range of options to hide just about everything you want to. Hiding likes on Facebook is different depending on if you wish to hide overall page likes or just reactions on posts. And, of course, if this isn’t good enough, you can make your account entirely private.

Hiding post reactions

If you want to hide individual post reactions from the wandering eye, all you need is your phone and to open the Facebook app:

  • Open the Facebook app on your smartphone and tap menu. This is the the three line icon in the bottom right hand corner of the page.
  • Tap Setting and Privacy.
  • Select Settings.
  • Under Preferences, tap Reaction Preferences.
  • Under Hide number of recatcions, choose On posts from others or On your posts, depending on which ones you want to hide.

Hiding page likes

  • On your desktop computer, open your profile page.
  • Head to More. This is located on the top of the page on the menu under your profile picture.
  • Select Likes.
  • Tap the three small dots in the right hand corner of the screen, which is the submenu.
  • Choose Edit the Privacy of your Likes.
  • Tap on the icon next to each category you want to change. This opens a menu of who can see your likes.
  • You can select from Public, Friends, Only Me, Custom or Close Friends. For the most secure option, select Only Me.

Hiding your likes on Instagram

Since Instagram is essentially part of Facebook, you can expect similar security features on its platform. With its popularity soaring every day, privacy is essential. Here’s how to keep your likes to yourself in the future.

  • Open Instagram on your phone and go to your profile.
  • Select the three lines in the top right hand corner, this step is very similar to Facebook.
  • Choose Settings.
  • In the search bar, types posts and select posts when it appears.
  • Slide the toggle next to Hide Like and View Counts to the right to enable it.

How to make your Twitter account private

Twitter marches to the beat of its own drum and isn’t the same as Facebook or Instagram. But if you do enjoy your privacy and want to keep your thoughts to yourself, you can make your account private.

  • Open Twitter on a desktop computer.
  • Hit the three dots next to More on the left side of the screen to open the menu.
  • Choose Settings and Privacy.
  • Choose Your Account.
  • Select Account Information and put in your password.
  • Scroll down to Protected Tweets.
  • Click on the arrow and turn the option on.
  • Choose Protect.

From this point on, all your tweets will be protected and private.

Security and privacy on the internet are essential, and this concept goes far beyond social media. Are you a frequent Google user? Be safe. Here are five ways to secure your account.

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