How to Change Privacy Settings on Twitter, Facebook, and More

Check out this step-by-step guide to changing your privacy settings on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, and YouTube.
Sara J. Nguyen, Author
Steph Trejos, Editor
Last updated Nov 8, 2022

Having an awareness of your social media privacy settings can ensure that you're sharing your content safely without compromising your online privacy.

Whether you're looking to create a safe social media environment for your kids or you just want to ensure your own privacy, this guide will show you step by step how to change your privacy settings on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, and YouTube. We'll also go over how to do this in the app on your Android or iOS device and on a web browser.

In this article
Twitter privacy settings
How to change Twitter privacy settings on your browser
How to change Twitter privacy settings on your phone
Facebook privacy settings
How to change Facebook privacy settings on your browser
How to change Facebook privacy settings on your phone
Instagram privacy settings
How to change Instagram privacy settings on your browser
How to change Instagram privacy settings on your phone
TikTok privacy settings
How to change TikTok privacy settings on your browser
How to change TikTok privacy settings on your phone
YouTube privacy settings
How to change YouTube privacy settings on your browser
How to change YouTube privacy settings on your phone
Social media privacy settings FAQs
Bottom line

Twitter privacy settings

Twitter's default privacy settings let anyone view and interact with your tweets. If you prefer to keep your tweets only available to your followers, you will need to change the setting.

Once you have protected tweets, people will need to request to follow you, which you can accept or deny. You also won't be able to respond to accounts that don't follow you because only followers can see your tweets.

Regardless of your Twitter privacy settings, you can still receive direct messages (DMs) from anyone on the platform. You simply need to enable the option to allow message requests from everyone under the privacy and safety settings. You can also find options to customize the content you see on your feed and other privacy settings.

For example, you can control whether you automatically see tweets that have been marked with a sensitive content warning. Look for the content you see section and then check the box next to Display media that may contain sensitive content. If you don't enable this feature, tweets with potentially sensitive content will display a prompt asking if you want to view it.

How to change Twitter privacy settings on your browser

Begin by opening up the Twitter website on your preferred browser and logging in to your Twitter account. On the left side, click on the three-dot More icon. This will open a pop-up menu. Select the arrow next to Settings and Support, which will reveal a new set of options. Choose Settings and privacy from those options.

A pop-up menu on Twitter with a red arrow pointing to the Settings and privacy button.

Once you reach the Settings page, click on Privacy and safety. When a new menu appears on the right side, select Audience and tagging.

The Privacy and Safety page on the Twitter website.

Click the checkbox next to Protect your Tweets to limit your tweets to only your followers. You can also turn off photo tagging and prevent other people from tagging you in their photos.

The Audience and tagging page open on the Twitter website.

How to change Twitter privacy settings on your phone

Begin by opening the Twitter app on your phone. Tap on your profile icon in the top-left corner to open a menu. Select Settings and Support and then choose Settings and privacy.

On the Twitter app, a menu is open with a red arrow pointing to Settings and privacy.

Next, tap on Privacy and safety and then select Audience and tagging. To protect your tweets, turn the toggle on. You can also opt out of photo tagging here.

The Audience and tagging page on the Twitter app.

Facebook privacy settings

Facebook has a variety of privacy settings that control who sees your posts and who can find you by using personal information, such as your email address. There are also options regarding how your information is used for targeted ads. You can change these settings at any time, so let's review how to change your privacy settings on Facebook.

How to change Facebook privacy settings on your browser

Begin by opening your preferred browser and logging in to your Facebook account. In the top-right corner, click on your profile picture. This will open up a menu, where you will need to select Settings & privacy. Then select Settings.

The Facebook Settings & privacy menu.

This will redirect you to a new page. Click on Privacy in the left menu, which will reveal privacy settings and tools for you to customize.

The Settings and Tools page on Facebook.

You can control your activity, how people find you, what people see when they view your profile, and how you get message requests. Customize these settings to match the level of privacy you desire.

How to change Facebook privacy settings on your phone

Changing the Facebook privacy settings on your phone begins by opening up the app. Click on the three horizontal lines in the upper-right corner to open a menu. Scroll down to Settings & privacy and tap on the down arrow on the right. This reveals another menu, where you should choose Settings.

A menu on the Facebook app with an arrow pointing to the Settings button.

Scroll down to Audience and visibility to find various options on who can see your posts, stories, and profile. You can customize these settings to create more privacy or share more information.

The Settings & privacy page on the Facebook app.

Instagram privacy settings

Instagram has privacy settings to control if your profile is public or private, showing when you were last active, how stories and posts are shared, and how you receive messages.

Here is how to change privacy settings on Instagram on your browser and your phone.

How to change Instagram privacy settings on your browser

Open your browser and head over to Instagram to log in to your account. In the upper-right corner, click on your profile picture. This opens a menu where you would select Settings.

An arrow pointing to the Settings button on Instagram.

A new page will open, and you'll click on Privacy and Security. This reveals your account privacy settings. Here you can customize your privacy settings to your preferences.

The Account Privacy page on the Instagram site.

How to change Instagram privacy settings on your phone

Head over to the Instagram app and open your profile. Click on the three horizontal lines in the upper-right corner. This opens a pop-up, where you would choose Settings.

A pop-up menu on the Instagram app, with a red arrow pointing to Settings.

Tap on Privacy. From the new menu, you can customize your privacy settings for account privacy and how other Instagram accounts can interact with you.

The Privacy settings menu on Instagram mobile.

TikTok privacy settings

TikTok also provides several privacy settings, including activity status visibility, ads settings, and video privacy. You can also make your account private, restrict who can comment on your videos and send you DMs, and decide whether your account is suggested to others. Here is how to customize those privacy settings.

How to change TikTok privacy settings on your browser

Open your browser and go to the TikTok website. Log in to your account, and then hover your icon in the top-right corner. Once the pop-up menu appears, select Settings.

A pop-up on the TikTok browser once you hover over your profile icon.

Choose Privacy from the sidebar on the left. Here you can choose to have a private account or download your data.

The Privacy settings that are available on TikTok for browser.

How to change TikTok privacy settings on your phone

Open the TikTok app and head over to your profile. Open the menu by tapping on the three horizontal lines in the upper-right corner. Then, select Settings and privacy.

The Privacy page on the TikTok app.

Go to Privacy and then make any changes to the privacy settings as you see fit.

The Settings and privacy page on the TikTok app.

YouTube privacy settings

There are several options for managing your YouTube privacy settings. You can delete your history, hide your playlists, and manage privacy for kids. Let's go over the steps on how to view and change your YouTube privacy settings.

How to change YouTube privacy settings on your browser

Start by opening up YouTube on your preferred browser. In the upper-right corner, click on your profile picture. Select Settings from the menu.

On YouTube, a menu with a red arrow pointing to the Settings button.

On the left menu, choose Privacy. This opens your privacy settings, where you can choose who can see your saved playlists and subscriptions. You can also review ads on YouTube in this section.

The Privacy page on YouTube.

How to change YouTube privacy settings on your phone

Open up the YouTube app. Click on your profile picture in the upper-right corner. Select Settings in the menu. Then choose History & privacy.

On the YouTube app, the Settings menu is open and there is a red arrow pointing to History & privacy.

On this page, you can manage your activity, including searches and videos watched. You can also adjust your Google Ads settings.

The History & Privacy page on the YouTube app.

Social media privacy settings FAQs


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How do I change privacy settings for sensitive content on Twitter?

You can change privacy settings for sensitive content on Twitter by giving permission to view the sensitive media. If you're on a desktop, click on the More option in the left menu, select Privacy and safety, then check the box on Display media that may contain sensitive content.

On the mobile app, click on your profile picture, select "Settings and Support" and then choose Settings and privacy. Next, tap on Privacy and safety then check the box on Display media that may contain sensitive content.


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How do I change my privacy settings from public to friends on Facebook?

You can change your privacy settings from public to friends on Facebook by adjusting your audience settings. To do this, click on your profile picture in the upper-right corner. Next, choose Settings & privacy and then select Settings.

In the left column, click Profile and Tagging. Find Who can see what others post on your profile?, then choose Edit to the right. Select an audience from the drop-down menu.


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Can you choose who can see your Instagram posts?

You can choose who can see your Instagram posts by selecting to have a public or private profile. With a public profile, anyone can see your Instagram posts. A private profile means only your followers can see your content. There is no way to block specific users from viewing a specific post.

Bottom line

Changing your social media privacy settings keeps you in control over your data and who can see your personal posts. This helps you stay safe on social media. You may want to go over all your social media platforms’ terms of service to verify if your data is being used in a way that's acceptable to you.

If you want to further your online privacy, check out this guide on how to browse the internet anonymously.

Author Details
Sara J. Nguyen
Sara J. Nguyen is a freelance writer specializing in cybersecurity and marketing. Her educational background in public relations helps her work closely with companies to provide informative and engaging content for their audience. When she's not writing, you can find her planning her next international trip.