VK privacy settings on Mac: Relaxed level

Learn how to change your privacy settings on VK using Mac. These steps adjust your privacy and security settings to Relaxed level protection
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How to keep your account from getting hacked

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Set a strong password

What for: So you don’t get hacked.

If you use a short and simple password for your VK account, cybercriminals can hijack your account. Use a strong password that meets the following criteria:

  • Is at least 8 characters long;
  • Contains lowercase and uppercase letters, numbers, and special characters ($, @, etc.);
  • Is not an actual word or easy-to-guess phrase;
  • Is not the same as your passwords for any other accounts;
  • Does not consist of information that strangers could easily find out (your name, date of birth, pet's name, and so forth — or those of your friends or relatives).

To change the password:

  1. Click the icon with the profile photo in the upper right corner of the screen;
  2. Select Settings in the drop-down list;
  3. Click Change next to Password;
  4. Enter the current password for your account and then enter the new password twice;
  5. Click Change password.

Enable two-factor authentication

What for: So you definitely don’t get hacked.

VK can prompt you to enter a one-time code every time you log in to your account. That way, even if cybercriminals get hold of your username and password, they will not be able to log in to your account without this code. Codes can be received by text message at the phone number you specify or generated in an authentication app (such as Google Authenticator or Authy).

To enable two-factor authentication:

  1. Click the icon with the profile photo in the upper right corner of the screen;
  2. Select Settings in the drop-down list;
  3. Go to the Security section;
  4. Select Enable in the 2-step verification section;
  5. Click Enable verification;
  6. Enter your current password and click Confirm;
  7. Make sure that your number is displayed on the screen and click the Get code button. VK will send you a text message with a one-time code or call your number;
  8. In the dialog box, enter the code from the text message or the last four digits of the number from which you received the call and click Send code;
  9. Click Setup completed.

By default, two-factor authentication by text message (SMS) is enabled. If you log in to your account using the mobile app, you may receive codes in direct messages from the VK administration.

A text message with the code can be intercepted by malware, which is why using a two-factor authentication app is a safer option. To do so, under 2-step verification locate the Code-generating app item, click Enable, and follow the instructions.

Remember to print out the backup codes that can be used for account login if your mobile device becomes unavailable. Store these codes in a safe place.

Downside: After enabling two-factor authentication you will be able to restore account access by e-mail only, and the access recovery feature based on your phone number will be unavailable.


How to defeat spammers and trolls

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Block unwanted users

What for: To get rid of unpleasant people in the virtual space.

To stop a specific user from viewing your wall, replying to your comments, or sending you private messages, you can blacklist the user:

  1. Copy the link to the profile of the user you want to block;
  2. Click the icon with the profile photo in the upper right corner of the screen;
  3. Select Settings in the drop-down list;
  4. Go to the Blocked section;
  5. Click Block users;
  6. Paste the link you copied earlier into the entry field;
  7. Click the Block button next to the user’s name.

The user will not be notified that you have blocked him. However, if the user tries to message or call you, he will see a message that you have blacklisted him.

To remove a user from the black list:

  1. Click the icon with the profile photo in the upper right corner of the screen;
  2. Select Settings in the drop-down list;
  3. Go to the Blocked section;
  4. Click Unblock next to the name of the user you want to unblock.

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How to prevent your personal data from being exposed

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Configure the visibility of your data

What for: To decide for yourself who can see what.

If you do not want to make your profile private, you can still configure the visibility of your publications, comments, audio files, photos, and other data.

To choose who can view specific information in your profile:

  1. Click the icon with the profile photo in the upper right corner of the screen;
  2. Select Settings in the drop-down list;
  3. Go to the Privacy section. You will see a list of possible access settings:
  4. Who can view the main information on my profile;
  5. Who can view photos of me;
  6. Who can view the Saved photos album;
  7. Who can view my list of groups;
  8. Who can view my music;
  9. Who can view my gifts;
  10. Who can see my photo’s location tags;
  11. Who can view my hidden friends;
  12. Who can view other users’ posts on my wall;
  13. Who can view comments on my posts;
  14. Who can view my stories;
  15. Who can reply to my stories with stories;
  16. Who can give feedback on my stories;
  17. Click the links next to these items one at a time and choose a group of users for each item. All or some of the following options are available for various items:
  18. All users;
  19. Friends of friends;
  20. Friends only;
  21. Everyone but...;
  22. Certain lists of friends;
  23. Certain friends;
  24. Only me.

The number of available visibility options depends on whether your profile is public or private.


How to get rid of unwanted notifications

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Configure website notifications

What for: To hide notifications from strangers and avoid getting distracted.

VK notifications are displayed in your browser window even when you’re on a different website. The downside is that strangers can also see them if, say, you leave your computer unattended for a moment.

To disable Web notifications:

  1. Click the icon with the profile photo in the upper right corner of the screen;
  2. Select Settings in the drop-down list;
  3. Go to the Notifications section;
  4. Click the link to the right of Receive browser notifications;
  5. Select Disabled.

If you do not want to disable all notifications, you can disable notifications about specific events such as new friend requests or broadcasts.

To do so, under Notifications click All to the right of the event and select Disabled.

If you are bothered by e-mail messages with VK notifications, opt out of receiving them:

  1. Click the icon with the profile photo in the upper right corner of the screen;
  2. Select Settings in the drop-down list;
  3. Go to the Notifications section;
  4. Click the link to the right of Notification frequency at the bottom of the page under Email notifications;
  5. Select Never.


What would have happened if you had chosen another privacy level?

Privacy level
?

Relaxed

Basic privacy settings, maximum convenience.


Medium

A golden mean respecting privacy matters but preserving convenience.


Tight

A choice of security over convenience; instructions contain a lot of details.

Relaxed
Medium
Tight
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