Get The Most Out Of Using Twitter Privately

Feature Image   Get The Most Out Of Using Twitter PrivatelyIf you use Twitter, you’ve probably noticed that by default your profile is set to public. Have you ever wondered about using Twitter privately or even why you should? It’s probably safe to say that the majority of users have their profiles set up to be public, but there are many reasons you might want to make your tweets protected instead.

In this article we’ll explore how to protect your account so that only those you approve can see what you tweet. In addition, we’ll cover how this change will affect your use of Twitter and if you should do it.

How To Make Your Twitter Account Private

The procedure of protecting your Tweets is very simple. Once you’re logged in, click the “gear” icon and choose Settings, the second item from the bottom of the dropdown menu.

Gear Icon Dropdown Settings   Get The Most Out Of Using Twitter Privately

By default, you should be on the Account page, but if for some reason you aren’t, that is where you’ll need to be.

Account Settings Page   Get The Most Out Of Using Twitter Privately

Scroll down until you see the section called Tweet privacy and check the checkbox.

Tweet privacy check box   Get The Most Out Of Using Twitter Privately

An additional step you might want to consider taking is changing whether you can be found upon searching by your email. It’s not necessarily a Twitter security concern, but it’s a good setting to be aware of, if that’s something that matters to you. If you want to change this, you can do so by unchecking the box under Email, near the top of the Account page.

Find by email address   Get The Most Out Of Using Twitter Privately

You’ve just protected your tweets, so now only your followers will be able to view them. You will need to scroll down to the bottom of the page and click the button to save your settings. You’ll then be prompted to enter your password. Once you do, the changes will be saved. Now when users who don’t follow you come across your profile, they’ll have to send a request to follow you.

Follow Request Message1   Get The Most Out Of Using Twitter Privately

These requests will appear on the Home page, right under the box with your name and the Compose new Tweet field.

New Follower Request Button   Get The Most Out Of Using Twitter Privately

Upon clicking it, you’ll then be able to review all the requests and easily accept or decline them.

View pending follower requests   Get The Most Out Of Using Twitter Privately

How Protected Tweets Will Change How You Use Twitter

Private Profile   Get The Most Out Of Using Twitter Privately

Changing your tweets from being public to protected will certainly alter how you use Twitter. First and foremost, I feel it’s a natural deterrent, so you may notice a decrease in the amount of people who follow you. When I come upon a user with protected tweets, I’m much less apt to follow them versus if they had their tweets open to the public. By having a protected account, you send the message that you don’t want just anyone seeing what you say. However, this isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

Other things you should understand is that if you mention someone in a tweet who isn’t following you, they won’t be notified. By protecting your tweets, your followers won’t be able to retweet your tweets. Hashtags will also not be very useful since only your followers will be able to see the tweets. Lastly, embedding your tweets in blog posts or sharing them through a permanent link, won’t be possible if they’re protected.

You might have noticed in the picture in this section that the bio, Twitter handle, name and pictures are all sill visible – this is important to take into account. Despite your tweets not being seen, you still represent yourself online, so be aware of that. Also, even though your tweets can only be seen by followers and are unable to be retweeted, don’t forget about screenshots, copy and paste, and third-party services, like Buffer, that allow users to share Tweets regardless of your settings.

The point is, as I’ve said in my articles before, watch what you say and don’t just think that because you’re “protected” that people won’t find out what you say.

Other RT option Buffer   Get The Most Out Of Using Twitter Privately

Should I Make My Twitter Account Private?

When you ask yourself this question, you must think about what you want to get out of Twitter. If you’re looking to use it as a way to make connections, then protecting your tweets would actually be a disadvantage to you. But if you want to just connect with people you know, then protecting your tweets wouldn’t be a bad idea.

In addition, a somewhat obvious benefit to protecting your tweets is the ability to prevent fake users and spammers from following you. It’s amazing how many fake users really are on Twitter, despite its efforts to reduce the number. Protecting your tweets enables you keep the numbers of followers you have accurate and manage your connections – your real connections.

Other reasons you might want to protect your tweets is if you are primarily trying to use Twitter as a news source to gather information, and aren’t interested in connecting with other users you don’t personally know. That isn’t to say that you wouldn’t ever have followers who you don’t know – you’ll still get requests, they just might be fewer. By protecting your Tweets, they also won’t be indexed in Twitter search or Google search.

Conclusion

Having a private Twitter account is not something that I do personally because it prevents me from using Twitter in the way I prefer. However, we’re all different – we all have different needs, uses, ideas and strategies. If you enjoy a tad bit more privacy and want a tight-knit network of followers, protecting your Tweets will help you achieve that.

Do you protect your Tweets? If so, why? If not, are you more apt to start using Twitter privately now after reading this or will you continue to tweet publicly? Feel free to share your thoughts below, along with any other tips, tricks and uses you have for protected Tweets.

Image Credits: Private stamp via Shutterstock; Twitter logo via Twitter

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7 Comments -

0 votes

Scott M

I concur with you.My Twitter is very private.I connect with very few people and use it primarily as a useful blog to pass along ideas,sites and information I think may be of use to those I connect with.I don’t believe I’ve ever sent one personal blog about my life or events that occur within it. Not just for privacy,but because I don’t believe 15-20 tweets a day about my life are all that important and earth shattering.I’m certain the world continues to revolve in the correct manner without others knowing my inner thoughts.I don’t know about anyone else but I don’t have 20 profound thoughts a day.

0 votes

macwitty

No I do not protect my tweets. I have some friends who do and I respect them. For me open tweets reminds me that what says on internet stays on internet. As you wrote, protected tweets can be copied and published open. We have had some stories in the paper when “private” posts on Facebook have been used by journalists in a “non friendly” way.

0 votes

Aaron Couch

Awesome viewpoint Macwitty! I’ve shared that same way of thinking in many of my other articles as well.

Thanks for reading and commenting :)

0 votes

Carolyn Barnett

I used to have my tweets protected but……..It was such a hassle to have to approve each person that wanted to follow me.I want people to follow me so i un protected my tweets to make it easy for those who want to follow me.

0 votes

Aaron Couch

Carolyn,

I’ve done the same thing. As you may have noticed, my profile isn’t protected. I enjoy sharing thoughts here and there with everyone — I think that’s part of the magic of the Internet.

BUT, some may still want their account private for one reason or another (because there are so many different ways to use Twitter), so that’s why it’s nice to have this option.

Thanks for your comment!

0 votes

Nevzat A

Privacy vs twitter is a hard issue. I can’t think Twitter as a private area. Twitter is a common place to share/shout our voices.

1 votes

Aaron Couch

Nevzat,

I agree. I personally like using Twitter in a public manner, but I do think that having a private account may be beneficial to some, depending on their needs.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts!