Top 5 Privacy Settings You Should Check Now to Protect Your Online Data

May 14, 2024
Diane Almanzor

These days, hardly a week goes by without hearing about some new privacy scare, right? Last year alone, over 1,800 data breaches exposed more than 422 million records in the U.S. That’s a lot of personal info floating around!

But here's the good news: tightening your privacy settings isn't as hard as it sounds. Here are some practical tips to help secure your digital life.

1. Social Media Privacy Settings 

With billions of people liking, sharing, and tweeting every day, our personal data is more exposed than ever. 

Whether you're among the 3 billion Facebook users, part of Instagram’s 2 billion crowd, or one of the many voices on Twitter, a little tweak here and there can help safeguard your personal info.

Here’s a straightforward guide to help you lock down your profiles and keep your private life a bit more private.


  • Who Sees Your Posts? Directly adjust who you share your updates with each time you post. Sometimes, it's best to keep things just among friends.
  • Tagging and Facial Recognition: Decide whether you want to be automatically tagged or recognized in photos. Dive into these settings to align them with your privacy preferences.
  • Third-Party Apps: It’s easy to lose track of how many apps we've connected to our Facebook for that quick login. Make it a routine to review and revoke access where needed, keeping only the trustworthy ones.


  • Story and Post Visibility: Like Facebook, Instagram offers control over who sees your content. Going private is an option if you prefer to keep your digital life more intimate.
  • Comments and Messages: Set boundaries on who can comment on your posts and message you directly. This helps filter out noise and unwelcome interactions.
  • Authorized Apps: If you’ve ever used your Instagram to log into other apps, now’s a good time to check who still has access and possibly do some spring cleaning.

X (Twitter)

  • Protect Your Tweets: Want to keep your thoughts limited to a select audience? Protecting your tweets means only your followers can engage with your content.
  • Control Discovery Settings: Tweak how others can find you via your email or phone number to boost your anonymity.
  • Manage Ad Data Sharing: Take charge of how much data you share with advertisers—less sharing translates to more privacy.

2. Google Account Settings

Google is everywhere, isn't it? From checking emails and watching videos to finding our way around town, we use Google services a lot. So, it's crucial to make sure our settings here keep our data as private as we want. Let’s go over some of the key settings we can check.

Activity Controls

  • Manage your data: Here’s where we get to decide what Google remembers about us. From searches to the videos we watch and the places we visit, it's wise to turn off data-saving for the things that make us uncomfortable.
  • Location and Web & App Activity: Think about the location data you're cool with sharing. You can switch off location history entirely, or just review and scrub out the places you’d rather Google forgot.

Ad Personalization

  • Say no to personalized ads: Not a fan of ads that follow you around based on what you've been up to? You can turn this off to stop Google from using your activities to target ads, making them less tailored but more private.
  • Control ad data: Dive deeper and tweak the specifics of what data affects the ads you see. This could include interests drawn from your Google activity or information from advertisers working with Google.

Security Checkup

  • Stay secure: Google’s security checkup is like a personal bodyguard for your data. Running through this checkup regularly is a smart move—it spots potential security issues and helps you patch them up in a flash.

3. Apple ID and iCloud Settings

Ah, Apple – the brand that's part of our daily lives through our iPhones, iPads, and more. Let’s chat about how we can tweak our Apple ID and iCloud settings to keep our info safe and snug.

Privacy Settings

  • App Permissions: Think of this as setting personal boundaries but for your apps. It's about controlling which apps can peek into our personal data. Just like you wouldn't let just anyone into your home, don't let apps access your data without a good reason.
  • iCloud Control: Here’s where you manage what gets stored in iCloud—your virtual storage room. You decide what goes up there and who gets a key to it. Tailor these settings to fit how snug or loose you want your data security blanket.

Location Services

  • Fine-Tuning Access: You've got the power to choose which apps know your whereabouts. It's great for navigation apps, but maybe not so necessary for your local pizza delivery app unless you’re ordering, of course.

Two-Factor Authentication

  • Extra Layer of Security: This is like having a secret handshake or a second door lock. Two-factor authentication adds that extra step to ensure that it’s really you trying to log in.

4. Amazon Privacy Settings

Amazon is the one-stop shop for pretty much everything! But did you know we can also fine-tune our privacy settings here?

While we enjoy the convenience of online shopping such as Amazon, it's important to stay informed about e-commerce trends. 

Global e-commerce sales are projected to surge by 8.8% in 2024, reaching an impressive $6.33 trillion. With this growth comes increased cybersecurity risks, highlighting the need for vigilant privacy practices

Here’s how we can keep our info safe and sound:

Browsing History

  • Clear the clutter: Just like you wouldn’t want old receipts and shopping lists piling up at home, you don’t need a cluttered digital trail either. Managing and deleting your browsing history on Amazon is like giving your digital space a good spring clean—out with the old, and in with more privacy.

Alexa Privacy

  • Keep it private: If Alexa is part of your household, remember that your voice commands don’t just disappear into the ether. You can review and delete these recordings and fine-tune what skills Alexa can access. Think of it as keeping your conversations with Alexa no more public than they need to be.

Advertising Preferences

  • Personalized or not: Personalized ads can sometimes feel a bit too... personal, right? Amazon lets you control whether you see ads tailored to your interests or opt for more general advertisements. Opting out means you can browse without feeling like someone’s always watching your shopping habits.

5. Microsoft Privacy Settings

Microsoft is the powerhouse behind Windows and Office. Since many of us use their products every day, it's important to know how to keep our privacy in check. 

With a whopping 92% of Americans worried about their online privacy, it’s crucial to get savvy about keeping our digital lives under wraps. Here’s how we can tighten the reins on our privacy while using Microsoft products:

Activity History

  • Take the reins: Managing your activity history on Windows devices puts you in the driver's seat of your digital tracks. Think of it as having a universal remote for your online footprint—pretty handy, right?

Ad Settings

  • Opt out of personalized ads: If you’re not a fan of ads that follow you around like a bad sitcom rerun, you're in luck. Microsoft lets you shut down personalized ads in Windows and your Microsoft account. It’s your digital way of saying, “I’ll pass on the personal touch, thanks!”

Email and Communication Preferences

  • Declutter that inbox: Tired of wading through a sea of promotional emails? Microsoft gives you the tools to fine-tune what lands in your inbox. It’s like giving your digital mailroom a much-needed spring cleaning.

Keeping Your Digital Life Secure

Keeping your privacy on lock is not a 'set it and forget it' kind of deal—it's more like a regular health check-up for your digital life. It's crucial to revisit these settings often because, just like the tech world, privacy features and policies are always evolving.

Taking these proactive steps mean reclaiming control over your digital footprints. So, keep sharp, stay mindful of your settings, and embrace a more secure online world.

However, protecting your online privacy is just the beginning – with Aro, you can extend that peace of mind into your daily life. Our innovative features empower you to disconnect when you need to, fostering a healthier relationship with your phone while keeping your data safe and sound.

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