Mind your data: Here's how to take control of what information is available online about you

It's possible to control what information is available online about you

Last week we told you how to see what information Google has on you. Today, however, we're going to take a closer look at what you can do to restrict the type of information that is stored online. 

First up, it's important to remember that everything we do online leaves a trail of some description. It is possible, however, to restrict the level of detail contained within that information. Here's some tips for the various Internet outlets we use regularly

Facebook:

You may be on Facebook years at this stage, but do you know just how much information is accessible to strangers and companies from your profile? 

Take the time to look through your security settings and adjust them to ensure only your direct friends can view your personal information. Here's a step-by-step guide on how to do this.  

Twitter:

While Twitter bios tend not to have as much information as a profile on Facebook, one can still gain a lot of information from looking at past tweets. It is possible to set a profile to private, meaning any potential follower would need your approval. It is worth disabling the geo-tagging feature in Twitter if using a mobile device. This will ensure that your location is kept private from followers. 

Location:

This is a big one. When setting up a new device, users will be asked if they want to enable location information. Personally, I would always opt against enabling this. It is possible to switch it on when needed (eg "Checking in" on Facebook). As we mentioned last week, Google can map out where users are and places they visit with this information. 

Google: 

Google isn't just a search engine; they own YouTube, Gmail and many other services we use online. Following these steps can identify what information they have about you. Working in "incognito mode" and wiping the search history as you go helps limit the information they have stored about you.