NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Some major changes are coming to some popular websites. Google, Twitter and Facebook are all overhauling their privacy settings.

Social networks and big digital services are always tweaking their privacy settings, all in the name of helping you make better connections with people you know and don’t know.

Sree Sreenivasan, tech expert from our partner network CNET and the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s chief digital officer, explained the changes.


Google wants to be able to show your name and face in ads based on comments you’ve made and pages you’ve liked. They believe these recommendations will make your friends and family more likely to buy those products or visit those stores.

Preventing it from happening however, is simple. If you haven’t set up a Google Plus page yet, you don’t have to worry about this for now.

But if you are one of hundreds of millions of people who have a Google Plus account, go to the setting page and opt out of the “shared endorsements” feature.


On Twitter, a popular feature is one that allows you to receive private messages only from people you follow, so it’s harder for people to spam you. Now Twitter allows you to receive these private messages from any of your followers, even if you don’t follow them back.

To prevent this, go to your account settings. There’s a check box to “opt-in.” Just make sure you don’t select it.


Facebook used to allow you to have an account that was visible only to your friends. That is now no longer the case. This is so they can serve you and contact more people.

Unfortunately, you can’t hide your account completely on Facebook anymore. Instead, you can go to the privacy settings and make sure the content of your posts is seen only by your friends and not by the public.


Sree Sreenivasan is CBS2′s technology expert. You can find him on Twitter and Facebook  and on his personal siteEmail your questions with “CBS New York” as the subject line.

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