Tag: social media

So You REALLY Want to Use TikTok?

So You REALLY Want to Use TikTok?

So You Really Want to Use TikTok?

A young man looks nervously at his phone.Background:

There is something to be said for TikTok, a lot of things to be said against it as well. Let’s keep one thing in mind first. Your data is everywhere. Sorry, it just is. There have been so many data breaches over the past 10-20 years that it would be nearly impossible to have your information safely stashed away from prying eyes.

Don’t let that stop you from doing your best to protect from any more info being out there. With TT in the news, you might be wondering if it is possible to use without opening yourself up to too much of the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) data vacuum. 

Here are some suggestions if you just can’t help yourself. This isn’t perfect, but it will provide a bit of a roadmap. Do with it what you will. 

The Basics:

IMO, these are some of the more effective ways to maintain a higher level of anonymity on TikTok:

1. Use a Device Not Associated With Your Identity: If possible, use a device that has never been associated with your identity, such as a second-hand phone purchased with cash.

2. Use a New SIM Card: Using a new SIM card helps prevent your phone number from being linked to your TikTok account.

3. Prepaid Mobile Plan: Using a prepaid mobile plan that doesn’t require your identity can add an extra layer of anonymity.

4. Avoid Home/Work WiFi: Using mobile data and disabling WiFi can prevent your home IP address from being associated with your TikTok activity.

5. Unique Google/Apple Account: Signing into your phone with a unique Google or Apple account can help prevent cross-referencing with your other accounts.

Remember, ONLY sign-up and log in on the new device. Once you link it back to your home IP, it’s back to square one.

6. Disable Location Services: Turning off location services and denying TikTok access to your location helps protect your privacy.

7. Avoid Posting Identifying Content: Refrain from posting videos or content that could reveal your identity, such as videos with identifiable people or locations.

Figure out what sized area you are comfortable with the world knowing you are operating in and stick to it.

8. Avoid Using Your Real Name: Use a username that doesn’t reveal your real name, and avoid using your real name anywhere on the new phone or with your TikTok account.

This goes for analogs of your name or other easily identifiable usernames.

How You Ended Up Following that Questionable Account on Twitter

How You Ended Up Following that Questionable Account on Twitter

Ever look over your Twitter follows and wonder, “when in the hell did I follow that account?” The answer could be, never.

Are you being made to follow accounts by some sneaky hack or #Twitter algorithm? No. Here are some common reasons this happens.

1. You followed an account and they changed things up themselves. Some times people have older “seasoned” accounts and when they start a new venture they may use that older account and rebrand it for their current project. So you may have followed someone who was all about gardening for a few years, then they began selling used Goodyear radial tires on eBay. Or, they have moved into an online business and all of a sudden your business account is following an OnlyFans account posting samples daily.

2. People buy and sell accounts, despite the Twitter rules. What? Are the Twitter police going to nab them? No. The security checks are in the Twitter platform and they can smoke out some types of account manipulation but it is likely the secondary market will continue traffic in Twitter accounts.

3. Alternatively accounts do get hacked by bots. A cyber criminal isn’t sitting there doing a deep dive on your pet names or first home address. However, brute force hacking of accounts makes up a great deal of Twitter traffic and Twitter security’s time. – turn on secondary authentication and use an authentication app on your smart device (google auth app/etc.) Also, we have recently seen an attempt by Apple iOS and the Android OS to incorporate that functionality directly into the saved passwords feature they offer. I wouldn’t rely on that yet.

People Check Who You Follow

While it can be a drag, it makes for a better Twitter experience to occasionally prune your follows. There are automated means to look for dead accounts (haven’t posted in however long), spam accounts, non-followbacks (keep an eye out for a short blog about this shortly) , etc. These can be super effective, but they can also lead to the Twitter algorithm restricting your account from locking you out, to forcing verification or even de-emphasizing you (aka “shadow banning”). 
So I recommend taking that spare time you are twiddling around doing nothing while waiting for the next thing to happen and click on your profile, click following and scroll WAAAYYYYY back in your follows and start unfollowing.