Social media tips

Time to review your Twitter privacy settings to block annoying direct messages

You can now get private messages from anyone on Twitter, but you might want to turn this feature off


Over the weekend, I started getting mysterious text messages from strangers, all with variations of "hey" and "hi." It actually wasn't text messaging spam, but rather direct message (DM) spam from Twitter.

I had a setting checked in Twitter to send a mobile notification whenever someone sent me a direct message on the network. Those private messages are supposed to be sort of like email and you previously couldn't receive messages from others unless you followed them, which I found to be a good barrier against spam.

Last week, however, Twitter updated its settings to let anyone send you a direct message.

This is a good feature for brands and for people who want to get customer support over Twitter without sending a public tweet. However, for individuals like you and me, it can be an annoyance.

Thankfully you can control this option. Head to your Twitter account settings, then the security and privacy section, and scroll to the bottom to uncheck the "Recieve Direct Messages from anyone" feature. 

What do you think? Are you going to leave that setting on or off?

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