How the top social networks compare on privacy -- in one handy chart

Not all privacy settings are created equal. Here’s an in-depth look at what Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+ offer users.

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Control who can connect with you

Facebook: By default, anyone can add you as a friend on Facebook. To change this, visit Settings > Privacy > Who can contact me.

Twitter: You cannot choose who can connect with you; anyone can follow your posts. If your profile is protected, you will have to approve users on an individual basis.

LinkedIn: Privacy & Settings > Communications > Member Communications > Select who can send you invitations.

Google+: You cannot control who adds you on Google+.

Control whether people can message you

Facebook: Messages may appear in two folders: your inbox and "other" folder. To control which messages appear in your inbox, visit Settings > Privacy > Who can contact me. Then, click Edit next to "Whose messages do I want filtered into my Inbox?"

Twitter: By default, you can receive Direct Messages from anyone you follow, and you can opt to allow anyone to send you a Direct Message. But you cannot turn off Direct Messages. See the Twitter Help Center for more on Direct Messages.

LinkedIn: Privacy & Settings > Communications > Member Communications > Select the types of messages you're willing to receive. You cannot disable all messages.

Google+: Settings > Profile, then uncheck the box next to "Allow people to send you a message from your profile."

Control who can see your connections

Facebook: From your profile, click the Friends tab, then click the pencil icon next to Friend Requests and Find Friends. This set of options lets you choose who can see your friend list, people you follow and who follows you.

Twitter: You cannot change who can see your followers and people you follow.

LinkedIn: Privacy & Settings > Profile > Privacy Controls > Select who can see your connections.

Google+: Click the About tab on your profile, then click Edit inside the People box. You can choose to hide the people who have you in circles, as well as those who are in your circles.

Prevent users from tagging you in posts

Facebook: Settings > Timeline and Tagging > How can I manage tags people add and tagging suggestions? The three options in this section let you apply settings for reviewing tags and audiences.

Twitter: You cannot prevent users from tagging you in a Twitter message.

LinkedIn: You cannot prevent users from tagging you in a post on LinkedIn, but you can delete the mention by moving your cursor over the linked name and clicking "remove". 

Google+: You cannot prevent users from tagging you in a post on Google+.

Choose who can see your photos

Facebook: To change the privacy of your photo albums, click the Photos tab on your profile, then choose Albums. Hover over the icon in the bottom-right of each album to adjust the privacy. Other albums will require that you change the setting for each individual picture. To do this, click the photo and hover over the icon next to the date.

Twitter: You cannot limit who can see your photos.

LinkedIn: To change who can view your profile picture, hover over it and click Change Photo. Click the lock icon to change the audience.

Google+: To change the privacy of photo albums, open the album, then hover over the link below the album title that displays your privacy selection. Adjust the visibility, then click Save.

Block users

Facebook: Settings > Blocking > Block users. Then, add the user's name or email address and click Block.

Twitter: Visit the user's profile, then click the gear icon on their page. Select Block from the menu, then click Block to confirm. You can view and manage the accounts you have blocked here:

LinkedIn: Visit the user's profile and select "Block or Report" from the drop-down menu at the top of the profile summary.

Google+: Search for the user you want to block. On their profile, click the drop-down menu next to their name. Click Report/block, check the box next to Block, then click Done. Google will block them within 24 hours. For more on blocking, read Google+ Help.

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