VK privacy settings on Windows: Relaxed level

Learn how to change your privacy settings on VK using Windows. These steps adjust your privacy and security settings to Relaxed level protection.
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How to protect your account against 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 easily 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 password for any other account.
  • 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. 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: Better protection against being 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 avoid unpleasant people in 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. 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 Add to Blocked;
  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. 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.



How not to expose your personal data

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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 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. 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 Browser notifications;
  5. Select Disabled.

You can disable all notifications or only some, such as those about 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.


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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