VK for iPhone users: Tight privacy set

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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:

  • Consists of 8–20 characters.
  • 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, etc., or those of your relatives and friends).

To change the password:

  1. Open the menu by tapping the icon with three horizontal lines in the bottom right corner of the screen.
  2. Tap the cogwheel in the upper right corner of the screen to go to settings.
  3. Go to the Account section.
  4. Select Password.
  5. Enter the current password for your account, then enter the new password twice and tap OK.

Remove stored login credentials

What for: To prevent a hijacking of your account even if a stranger gains access to your device.

When you log out of your account, VK stores your account credentials so you won’t have to enter your login and password again next time you log in. If a stranger gets hold of your device, they will be able to access your account. To prevent this from happening, you can remove your login credentials from the device.

To log out of the account and remove login credentials:

  1. Open the menu by tapping the icon with three horizontal lines in the bottom right corner of the screen.
  2. Tap the cogwheel in the upper right corner of the screen to go to settings.
  3. Tap Log out and confirm your selection.
  4. On the login page, tap the cogwheel to the right of the Continue button.
  5. Remove login credentials by tapping the cross in the upper left corner of the profile image.

Downside: You will have to enter your login and password manually every time you log in to the account.

Enable two-factor authentication

What for: Better protection against getting hacked.

To enable two-factor authentication, follow the instructions to configure the Web version of VK. This feature is unavailable in the iOS app.

Check login history

What for: To detect and stop suspicious activity.

To view the login history of your account, follow the instructions to configure the Web version of VK. This feature is unavailable in the iOS app.


How to hide from Big Brother

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Disable access to location data

What for: So VK cannot track where you are.

VK gathers your location data to geotag your posts and stories and configure recommendations and targeted ads. Transmission of such data compromises your privacy, increases traffic usage, and drains the battery.

If you do not want to share your location, you can stop the social network from accessing location data.

To do so:

  1. Open the menu by tapping the icon with three horizontal lines in the bottom right corner of the screen.
  2. Tap the cogwheel in the upper right corner of the screen to go to settings.
  3. Go to the General section.
  4. Select Location.
  5. Tap Location and select Never.

Stop questionable websites from accessing your account data

What for: To prevent your data from getting leaked through third parties.

To revoke third-party sites’ and apps’ permission to access your account data, follow the instructions to configure the Web version of VK. This feature is unavailable in the iOS app.


How to defeat spammers and trolls

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Block unwanted users

What for: To keep unpleasant people out of your 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. To do so:

  1. Go to the profile of the user you wish to block.
  2. Tap the three-dot button in the upper right corner of the screen.
  3. Select Block.

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

To remove a user from the blacklist:

  1. Open the menu by tapping the icon with three horizontal lines in the bottom right corner of the screen.
  2. Tap the cogwheel in the upper right corner of the screen to go to settings.
  3. Go to the Blocked section.
  4. In the list find the profile of the relevant user and tap their name or profile photo.
  5. Tap the three-dot icon in the upper right corner of the screen.
  6. Select Unblock.

Limit people’s ability to comment on your posts

What for: To keep spam out of comments.

By default, all VK users can leave comments under posts on your wall. This can be abused by spammers, trolls, or simply users you find unpleasant for any reason. You can limit the ability to comment on your posts in several ways.

Disable comments under specific posts

You can do so both when creating a post and after publishing it.

  1. To disable comments while creating a post:
  2. Tap the cogwheel in the bottom right corner of the screen to change account settings.
  3. Tap Disable comments.
  4. To disable comments under a post that has already been published:
  5. Tap the icon with three dots in the right part of the post heading.
  6. Select Disable comments.

Limit who can comment on your posts

To choose who can comment on your posts:

  1. Open the menu by tapping the icon with three horizontal lines in the bottom right corner of the screen.
  2. Tap the cogwheel in the upper right corner of the screen to go to settings.
  3. Go to the Privacy section.
  4. Tap Who can comment on my posts.
  5. Select All friends so only your friends on the social network can leave comments.
  6. Select Add friends and lists in the Forbidden section to prevent specific friends or groups of friends from commenting on your posts.
  7. Select Some friends to limit who can comment on your posts even more.
  8. Select Only me so nobody except you can post comments.

Completely disable comments under posts on your wall

You can fully disable comments under your posts. To do so:

  1. Open the menu by tapping the icon with three horizontal lines in the bottom right corner of the screen.
  2. Tap the cogwheel in the upper right corner of the screen to go to settings.
  3. Go to the Account section.
  4. Turn off the Allow Comments toggle switch.

Keep in mind that after fully disabling comments on your wall you will not be able to enable comments under specific posts. In addition, the Who can comment on my posts item in the Privacy menu will be inactive.

Stop users from sending you direct messages and friend requests or calling you

What for: So strangers can’t bother you.

VK does not limit the number of people who can contact you even when your profile is private.

You can limit this ability manually:

  1. Open the menu by tapping the icon with three horizontal lines in the bottom right corner of the screen.
  2. Tap the cogwheel in the upper right corner of the screen to go to settings.
  3. Go to the Privacy section.
  4. Tap Who can send me private messages and choose one of the options:
  5. Friends of friends
  6. All friends
  7. Certain friends
  8. Nobody
  9. Tap Who can call me and choose one of the options:
  10. Friends of friends
  11. All friends
  12. Certain friends
  13. Nobody
  14. Tap Who can send me friend requests and select Friends of friends.

Stop users from finding your profile using your phone number

What for: To prevent people or companies who know your phone number from bothering you on the social network.

By default, all VK users can find your page using your phone number. Also, if any company has your phone number, you may receive private messages on behalf of its VK community even if you do not follow it.

To stop users and companies from finding your profile using your phone number:

  1. Open the menu by tapping the icon with three horizontal lines in the bottom right corner of the screen.
  2. Tap the cogwheel in the upper right corner of the screen to go to settings.
  3. Go to the Privacy section.
  4. Tap Who can find me by contacts import by phone number… and select Nobody.
  5. Go back to the Privacy section and tap What communities can send me private messages using my phone number and None.


How to hide posts from unwanted people

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Make your profile private

What for: To hide your data from strangers.

By default, your posts and profile data are visible to all VK users. To prevent strangers from viewing your wall, you can limit access to it.

To make your profile private for everybody except friends:

  1. Open the menu by tapping the icon with three horizontal lines in the bottom right corner of the screen.
  2. Tap the cogwheel in the upper right corner of the screen to go to settings.
  3. Go to the Privacy section.
  4. Turn on the toggle switch next to the Private profile item at the bottom of the list.
  5. Select Yes in the dialog box.

Keep in mind that your friends on the social network will still be able to see all of your posts. To stop any one of them from viewing your posts, remove them from your friend list:

  1. Open the menu by tapping the icon with three horizontal lines in the bottom right corner of the screen.
  2. Go to the Friends section.
  3. In the list find the profile of the relevant user and tap their name or profile photo.
  4. Tap the You’re friends button.
  5. Select Remove from Friends.

The user will not be notified. However, if the user visits your profile, they will see the Following button and will be able to guess what happened. They can also see you in the list of outgoing friend requests.

Even after you make your profile private, other VK users will still see:

  • Your name
  • Date of birth
  • Profile photo
  • Place of employment
  • City
  • Status
  • Information about your online status or the time of your most recent visit
  • Number of mutual friends
  • Number of posts

Limit the visibility of your date of birth, city, and place of employment by following instructions to configure data visibility.


How to keep your personal data private

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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. Open the menu by tapping the icon with three horizontal lines in the bottom right corner of the screen.
  2. Tap the cogwheel in the upper right corner of the screen to go to settings.
  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 and comments on my wall
  13. Who can view comments on my posts
  14. Who can view my stories
  15. Who can reply to my stories
  16. Who can give feedback on my stories
  17. Tap the items in the list 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. All friends
  21. Certain friends
  22. Only me
  23. Some items contain the Forbidden section. In this section, you can select Add friends and lists and check friends or groups of friends who will not have access to content. For example, you can grant access to other people’s posts on your wall to all friends except those on the “Colleagues” list.

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

Stop users from tagging you in photos

What for: To stay anonymous.

By default, all of your friends can tag you in VK photos. All social network users who have access to an image can locate you based on the photo tag. This may be inconvenient if you prefer not to upload your actual photos to your profile.

To stop users from tagging you in photos:

  1. Open the menu by tapping the icon with three horizontal lines in the bottom right corner of the screen.
  2. Tap the cogwheel in the upper right corner of the screen to go to settings.
  3. Go to the Privacy section.
  4. Select Who can tag me in photos.
  5. Tap Only me.

Limit the visibility of your profile

What for: To stay out of search engine results.

Search engines can index your VK wall and return a link to your profile in search results. This can be abused by cybercriminals to prepare phishing attacks or by unscrupulous companies to send ads. To prevent this from happening, you can block third-party sites and search engines from accessing your information. To do so:

  1. Open the menu by tapping the icon with three horizontal lines in the bottom right corner of the screen.
  2. Tap the cogwheel in the upper right corner of the screen to go to settings.
  3. Go to the Privacy section.
  4. Tap Who can see my profile on the internet.
  5. Select Only VK users.

Downside: Your friends without VK accounts will have a harder time finding your profile.

Download an archive with your profile data

What for: To view what data VK has on you, remove the data you don’t need, and make a backup copy of the data you need.

To download a file with your account information, follow the instructions to configure the Web version of VK. This feature is unavailable in the iOS app.


How to get rid of unwanted notifications

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Turn off unnecessary notifications

What for: To decide for yourself what you want to be distracted by.

By default, VK displays push notifications about different profile activities – from private messages to likes and game invitations.

The list of notifications can be limited. To do so:

  1. Open the menu by tapping the icon with three horizontal lines in the bottom right corner of the screen.
  2. Tap the cogwheel in the upper right corner of the screen to go to settings.
  3. Go to the Notifications section.
  4. Select the type of event.
  5. Select None in the Show notifications section if you do not want to see notifications about this activity.

Stop users from challenging you in apps and inviting you to communities

What for: To remove irrelevant notifications.

By default, all VK users can send you invitations to join a community, and your friends can invite you to activate apps in VK. They will then be able to challenge you in applications (e.g., invite you to compete) via automatic messages. If you are bothered by such notifications, you can disable this feature. To do so:

  1. Open the menu by tapping the icon with three horizontal lines in the bottom right corner of the screen.
  2. Tap the cogwheel in the upper right corner of the screen to go to settings.
  3. Go to the Privacy section.
  4. Select Nobody for the following items:
  5. Who can invite me to open apps
  6. Who can invite me to communities
  7. Who can invite me to use apps

Configure the appearance of notifications

What for: To hide from prying eyes.

By default, VK includes the sender's name and text message in notifications. This information appears on the screen of your device even when it is locked. The content of such notifications can be visible to strangers, so we recommend disabling the display of this unwanted text.

To configure the appearance of notifications:

  1. Open the menu by tapping the icon with three horizontal lines in the bottom right corner of the screen.
  2. Tap the cogwheel in the upper right corner of the screen to go to settings.
  3. Go to the Notifications section.
  4. Select Private messages.
  5. Tap Notification text.
  6. Check the Name only option.
  7. Go back to the Notifications section and select Group Chats.
  8. Tap Notification text.
  9. Check the Name only option.


How to clean up your traces

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Check how other users see your profile

What for: To verify all of your privacy settings.

To view how other users see your profile, follow the instructions to configure the Web version of VK. This feature is unavailable in the iOS app.

Remove wallets and bank cards linked to the account

What for: To retain important financial information.

To remove information about payment methods from your account, follow the instructions to configure the Web version of VK. This feature is unavailable in the iOS app.

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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.

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Tight
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