Sneaky Twitter Settings You Should Know About

Don't let a little birdie change your password for you

Don’t let a little birdie change your password for you

I was searching for some past tweets on the Dx3 conference I went to last month. On Twitter itself you can only get a few days worth of history, so it is useless for something that happened a month ago.

While searching I discovered a few settings you should be aware of:

1. Anyone who knows your username can change your password!!!

This was the one that really shocked me! By default, anyone can initiate a password reset just by giving your @username. So anyone who’s out to get you or make you sound stupid can easily hijack your account!!

To prevent this,  press the Gear symbol near the top right of your Twitter screen. Then click Settings. Partway down the list you will see “Password reset”.  Check that box. Once you have done so (and saved your changes) they will at least need to enter your email address or phone number. (Which I would argue, is still way too easy!)

2. You can get an archive of your past tweets

I often use Twitter as a way to take notes while listening to a speaker or to send out links to good content. But since a Twitter search won’t find my past tweets for me, I was happy to discover that on that same Settings page (see point 1, above) you can click a button to Request your Twitter archive.

I’ve done mine, but now that it says it is ready, I’m getting messages that Twitter is too busy to let me download it at the moment, so I cannot yet report on whether it gives it to you in a useful format. I hope so!

3. In theory, you can make your tweets private.

Personally, folks, I would not count on this, but in theory you can set this so that “only those you approve” will see your tweets.  I’d say, if you want privacy, Twitter is not a great platform. You’d probably be better off e-mailing or texting your friends. And remember that anything you share in writing could become public at any time. Your best bet for privacy is a face-to-face conversation.

4. Add or delete location information

If you want the world to know where you are when you Tweet, you can set this to include your location information. If you have already been showing your locations but no longer want those displayed, you can click to have that information deleted. (Though they warn that can take up to 30 minutes).

If you feel this was useful information, please click to Tweet it!

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