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How To Change Your Threads Privacy Settings: Everything You Need To Know

Social media privacy is more important than ever. As your personal information flows freely online, it‘s crucial to understand how platforms like Threads collect, use, and secure your data. This guide will walk you through customizing your Threads privacy settings to lock down your account. With a few simple tweaks, you can control who sees your content and help keep your personal details private.

An Introduction to Threads and Online Privacy

Threads, Meta‘s text-and-photo-focused social app, launched in 2019 as a companion to Instagram. The platform encourages real-time conversations through short posts called "threads."

Like any social media, signing up for Threads requires handing over personal information like your name, email, phone number and more. Once you start engaging, Threads collects data on your usage, friends, location and device.

According to a 2021 Pew Research study, around 81% of US adults feel they have little to no control over their data. Furthermore, 79% say the risks outweigh the benefits of sharing personal details online.

Given Meta‘s history of mishandling user data, these privacy concerns are well-founded. Updating your Threads settings is crucial to avoiding unwanted data collection. This guide will explore the platform‘s various options to help you take control.

Why You Should Customize Your Threads Privacy Settings

Most users stick with default privacy settings for convenience. However, the out-of-the-box options likely don‘t match your specific needs and comfort level. Taking a few minutes to customize your settings helps prevent the following:

  • Oversharing personal details: Your posts, photos and conversations can reveal more than you intend.
  • Unwanted contact: Open settings make it easy for strangers to interact with you.
  • Data selling: Meta can monetize your information without your knowledge.
  • Security risks: Public settings leave you vulnerable to hacking, cyberstalking and identity theft.

According to one 2021 survey of 1,000 social media users:

  • 63% worry about privacy violations on social platforms.
  • 55% have personally experienced harassment on social media.
  • 47% feel social networks don‘t do enough to protect them.

Properly configured privacy settings mitigate these risks. You dictate exactly who can access, view and interact with your profile. This guides explores the tools Threads offers to make your account more secure.

6 Ways to Lock Down Your Threads Privacy

Threads lets you toggle between public and private accounts. With a private profile, you must approve each follower request before they can view your content.

Public pages are riskier but offer more options to fine-tune visibility. Here are six tips to customize public or private Threads for maximum privacy:

1. Block Offensive Words and Phrases

Threads allows blocking certain words or phrases from your posts and feed. To filter content:

  1. Tap your profile icon > tap the 3-dot menu > Privacy > Hidden Words
  2. Toggle on "Offensive Words" to auto-filter profanity
  3. Tap "Custom Words" to manually block specific terms

Blocking offensive terms helps avoid harassment in comments and messages. You can also filter out unwanted topics by blocking associated keywords.

2. Restrict Your Posts to Followers Only

By default, all posts are public. To make threads viewable by followers exclusively:

  1. When creating a post, tap the audience selector (globe icon)
  2. Choose "Followers Only" from the menu

This prevents random users from accessing your content. You can also limit visibility to people mentioned in the post.

3. Limit Commenting to Followers

To control who can comment:

  1. When publishing a post, tap "Who Can Reply"
  2. Select "Followers" or stricter to limit responses

Disabling open commenting protects against harassment from strangers. You can also turn off commenting entirely.

4. Remove Unwanted Followers

If unwanted connections follow you:

  1. Tap your profile > Followers
  2. Tap the 3-dot menu next to a follower
  3. Select "Remove this Follower"

This completely blocks their access to your profile, posts and stories. They won‘t be notified of the removal.

5. Disable Threads Notifications

To limit distracting notifications:

  1. Tap your profile > tap the 3 lines (hamburger menu) > Notifications
  2. Toggle off all unwanted notification types

Disable notifications for follows, messages, mentions, likes and other activities. You can also mute specific threads.

6. Tighten Up Your Account Security

Beyond privacy settings, enabling extra security features protects against hacking:

  • Use strong passwords and change them periodically
  • Turn on two-factor authentication (2FA)
  • Check logins frequently for unauthorized access
  • Avoid connecting third-party apps to your account
  • Run antivirus software on your devices

Additional Ways to Protect Your Privacy on Threads

Customizing your settings is the first step to locking down your Threads privacy. Here are a few other tips to keep your data safe:

Avoid oversharing personal details

Never post sensitive info like your address, phone number, birthday, or location. Also limit sharing workplace details or financial information.

Review tags before approving them

When others tag you in posts or photos, check the content is something you want associated with your profile before approving the tag.

Delete unused accounts

Consider deleting inactive social media accounts to minimize your online footprint. Deactivated accounts can still hold your data.

Use strong device passwords

Secure your smartphone and computer with unique passwords to prevent account access if your devices are lost or hacked.

Be wary of third-party apps

Think twice before connecting services like personality quizzes to Threads. Such apps can potentially access your personal data.

Consider using a VPN

A virtual private network shields your IP address and online activities from surveillance and tracking.

The Value of Periodically Assessing Your Privacy Settings

Social platforms frequently add new features and change settings menus. It‘s important to periodically review your Threads profile with privacy in mind:

  • Audit your privacy and security settings every few months. Update any options that are too permissive.
  • Whenever new settings roll out, assess their impact on your privacy before enabling them.
  • Check your follower list routinely and remove any unwanted connections.
  • Monitor your account activity for unauthorized logins from unknown devices.
  • Verify your posts are only visible to intended audiences, not publicly accessible.
  • Confirm your bio and profile details don‘t share more personal data than necessary.

Proactive privacy maintenance is the only way to ensure adequate protection as platforms evolve. The cost of lax security is far greater than the minor time investment needed to lock down settings.

According to Paige Hanson, technology writer at Mashable, "Social platforms bank on you accepting default privacy settings without a second thought. But customizing your preferences helps you retain control over your personal data, your online experiences and who interacts with you."

Closing Thoughts on Prioritizing Privacy

Sharing our lives online requires striking a balance between enjoyment and vigilance. While Threads can foster connections and entertainment, your personal information ultimately belongs to you. Don‘t leave it unnecessarily exposed.

Hopefully this guide provided some best practices to approach Threads with privacy top of mind. Taking a few minutes to configure your preferences makes all the difference.

As digital security expert Ali Bedford points out, "The sheer number of data points social platforms collect can feel invasive. But there are always steps within your control to limit exposure and risks."

At the end of the day, your comfort level overrides what any platform condones by default. You get to dictate the terms of your online presence. By leveraging all the tools at your disposal, you can enjoy Threads while still maintaining your privacy.

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Streamr Go

StreamrGo is always about privacy, specifically protecting your privacy online by increasing security and better standard privacy practices.