How to Protect Your Privacy on Twitter

Illustration of a man in a Karate suit with Twitter logo behind him.

Just like all other social media sites, Twitter collects a lot of your personal information and reveals many of your personal details to other users. This has even caused some users to delete their Instagram accounts. The good news is that a few quick and easy fixes shown below will help you gain control of your privacy on Twitter.

This guide will walk you through Twitter privacy settings accessed in a web browser. Things may look a bit different if you access these settings on an app on your mobile device.

1. Make your account private

Unless you want to keep your Twitter profile public, it is a good idea to regain control over who can see your posts. By default, every Twitter account is set to public. This means that everything you have ever posted on the service can be seen by anyone anywhere in the world – even by people who do not have a Twitter account.

You can control who gets to see your Tweets by making your account private. When you do so, people who are not already among your followers can request to follow you. Before they can see your Tweets, you have to confirm their request.

To set your Twitter account to private, open Twitter’s settings and head to Privacy and Safety. Select Audience and tagging and set the check mark next to Protect your tweets. Confirm the selection by clicking Protect.

Screenshot of More options button on Twitter profile page.Settings and Privacy link on Twitter profile page.Privacy and Safety option in Twitter Settings.Audience and Tagging option under Privacy and safety on Twitter settings.Protect your tweets checkbox on Twitter Audience and tagging settings.Confirmation message after checking Protect your tweets checkbox on Twitter Audience and tagging settings.Protect your tweets checkbox checked on Twitter Audience and tagging settings page.

It is worth keeping in mind that even after you set your Twitter account to private, all your previously published Tweets will remain public.

2. Stop Twitter from showing your location

Twitter knows your approximate location by tracking your IP address. In addition to using this information to send you targeted ads and recommendations, Twitter lets you tell other people on the service where you are tweeting from by adding geotags to your posts.

To turn off geotagging, open Twitter’s settings and navigate to Privacy and Safety. Scroll down and tap Location information under Data sharing and off-Twitter activity. Tap Add location information to your tweets and disable this option.

Privacy and Safety option in Twitter Settings.Location information option in Twitter settings.Twitter option to add location information to your Tweets.Checkbox to add location information to Tweets in Twitter settings.

Here you can also remove geotags from previously published tweets by clicking Remove all location information attached to your Tweets and confirming the selection.

Twitter option to remove all location information attached to your Tweets.

3. Turn off data collection

Unless you change the default settings, Twitter tracks all of your online activity outside of the social networking service to customize targeted ads and recommendations. Twitter gets some of this information from its partners and shares your details with its commercial partners.

To stop Twitter from collecting and using your personal information, visit the Personalization settings page. To go to the page, you have to click on the actual link (here it is again) as Twitter has recently made it inaccessible through the settings menu when you open the site in a web browser.

To access Personalization settings on a Twitter app on an iOS or Android device, tap the icon of your profile photo in the upper-left corner, select Settings and privacy, select Privacy and safety, and tap Personalization and data.

Click on the toggle next to Personalization and data to switch it off. In the dialogue window that pops up, select Disable to confirm the selection.

Twitter Personalization and data switch.Confirmation to disable personalization and data in Twitter settings.

4. Disable access for third-party apps

You may have linked other apps or services to your Twitter account. In some cases, apps and websites linked to your account can obtain access to your data and even follow or unfollow accounts on your behalf. If you care about your privacy, you may want to review which third-party applications and services can access your account and disable their access.

To do so, open Twitter settings and click on Security and account access. Select Apps and sessions and tap Connected apps. Review the list of apps and services that have access to your profile. To block an app from accessing your account, click on it and select Revoke app permissions.

Twitter Security and account access settings.Apps and sessions option in Twitter settings.Connected apps option in Twitter settings.List of connected apps to the Twitter account.Twitter option to revoke app permissions.

5. Block specific people

If you want to keep your Twitter account public, you can still block specific people from seeing and replying to your tweets. The blocked users will not be able to view your profile or send you direct messages.

To block someone, go to their profile and click the three-dot icon to the left of Follow or Following and select Block @username.

Three dots to access more information on a Twitter account.Blocking an account on Twitter.