Many users of social networks don’t realize their identity data can be compromised when the privacy settings in their account are too lax. On Facebook, for example, you can determine who can see your stuff (for future posts, things you’re tagged in, and so on); who can contact you (friends, friends of friends, or everyone); and who can look you up (using the email address or phone number you’ve provided, or using search engines outside of Facebook that are linked to your profile, and so forth). Similar settings are available in Twitter, Google+, and LinkedIn.
Privacy settings are also available in the leading browsers, such as Microsoft Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, and Mozilla Firefox. They govern such things as whether a website associated with online fraud will be blocked, whether you want to send a ‘Do No Track’ request with your browsing traffic, or whether you’re storing your online passwords in your browser (which is not recommended by Trend Micro).
Wouldn’t it be nice to have an easy way to check such settings, get recommendations for their optimal configuration, and change them easily, without having to dig around in the innards of the social network or browser?
Trend Micro Security lets you do just that. Trend Micro Security’s Privacy Scanner, available through the Trend Micro Toolbar, works with Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and LinkedIn; and Microsoft Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, and Mozilla Firefox, to make it quite easy to change your privacy settings. The function is enabled by default in Trend Micro Internet, Maximum, and Premium Security. You just need to ensure the Trend Micro Toolbar is turned on in your browser to use it.
To Enable the Trend Micro Toolbar:
1. Make sure you have your User ID and Password handy for the social network you wish to check for privacy settings, because you’ll have to sign in to it. Additionally, in the example below, I’ll use Internet Explorer for my browser and will check my Facebook privacy settings (the process works similarly for all the social networks), though I’ll first show you how to enable the Trend Micro Toolbar in all three browsers to get you started.
2. Once you’ve installed Trend Micro Security, open your preferred browser and in the upper right-hand corner select Settings > Manage Add Ons > Toolbars & Extensions (Internet Explorer), Settings > Extensions (Chrome), or Settings > Add Ons > Extensions (Firefox), and select the Setting(s) for Trend Micro.
Figure 1. Settings > Manage Add Ons > Toolbars & Extensions – Internet Explorer
Figure 2. Settings > Extensions – Chrome
Figure 3. Settings > Add Ons > Extensions – Firefox
3. Click Enable (All) to enable the Trend Micro (Security) Toolbar, then close the relevant settings screen.
4. Open your browser and select the Trend Micro Toolbar > Check your online privacy menu item.
Figure 4. Check your online privacy
5. The Trend Micro Privacy Scanner webpage loads, with the Facebook sign-in panel shown by default.
To Check Your Facebook Privacy Settings:
Figure 5. Trend Micro Privacy Scanner | Facebook
6. In the Privacy Scanner page, click Sign In. Trend Micro Security automatically takes you to the Facebook login website.
Figure 6. Facebook Login Webpage
7. Sign in to your Facebook account. The Facebook News Feed page displays.
Figure 7. Facebook > Check My Privacy
8. Click back to the Privacy Scanner tab to see your scan results, showing if you have privacy concerns.
Figure 8. Facebook Privacy Concerns
9. If you have concerns, click Fix All to fix all the concerns at once using the Trend Micro Security recommended privacy settings, or select the drop-down settings menus to manually fix them. In this example, we’ll choose Fix All. The Fix popup appears.
Figure 9. Fix All | Editor
10. Click Fix to fix all your settings at once. Trend Micro Security changes your settings and returns the result. In this case, since you accepted the default recommendations, it returns “Nice work! You don’t have any privacy concerns, but your friends might need some help…”
Figure 10. Nice work!
11. Click the Facebook icon if you wish to share a link for Trend Micro Security and the Privacy Scanner to your friends on Facebook.
12. Select the icon for Twitter, Google+, or LinkedIn, if you have accounts for those social networks, and log in to scan your privacy settings.
13. Note that if you have privacy fixes for Twitter, it requires that you enter your password again to make changes to your account.
Figure 11. Twitter Password Request
14. Simply click OK to proceed. The Save account changes dialog for Twitter appears.
Figure 12. Save Account Settings for Twitter
15. Re-enter your Twitter password and click Save Changes. This saves the privacy settings changes you made to your Twitter account.
Note that this same ability to scan your social networks for their privacy settings is also available via Trend Micro Antivirus for Mac.
That’s it! You now know how to use Trend Micro Security’s Privacy Scanner to check the privacy settings in your favorite social networks. Since social networks occasionally change their privacy policies and even add new ones, you should run Privacy Scanner periodically to ensure your privacy settings are always up to snuff.
To check your privacy settings in Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, or Firefox, see Using Trend Micro Security’s Privacy Scanner – Part 2: Web Browser Privacy.
For more information, watch the video: How to Use Privacy Scanner.