4 ways Twitter plans to keep you safe and secure

4 ways Twitter plans to keep you safe and secure

While Twitter's battle against trolls and bullies is far from over, the social network has made improvements that aim to cut down on abuse.

Twitter recently unveiled  its latest effort aimed at improving your safety and security: a new Safety Center hub, which aims to cut down on abusive behavior and arm you with information about its tools and policies.

While the Safety Center doesn't feature anything new, information that was once dispersed across its website is now conveniently located in one spot. In addition to information on its policies, tools and enforcement options, you will find sections specifically for teens, families and educators.

"The Safety Center is a resource for anyone to learn about online safety, on Twitter and beyond," says Patricia Cartes, head of global trust and safety outreach at Twitter, in a blog post. "This resource is a result of our work with online safety experts who continuously help us to promote good digital citizenship."

The launch of Twitter's new hub follows a stream of updates that focus on safety after users and experts criticized the company for its inability to protect against bullies and trolls. Former Twitter CEO Dick Costolo acknowledged the company's shortcomings and vowed to make improvements.

Here's a look at Twitter's latest updates and changes to its tools, policies and features, plus details about how you can take advantage of them to better protect yourself and your account.

1. Twitter's Data Dashboard

Last month, Twitter launched a data dashboard -- a center that displays account information like your activation details, the devices that have accessed your account and your login history. The dashboard is available via the settings menu under "Your Twitter Data," which you can find on your Settings page.

Twitter's data dashboard is most useful to review your login history for suspicious activity. If you notice a login from an unfamiliar location or application, visit the apps page to revoke access and change your password.

2. Share, upload block lists

Earlier this year, Costolo told employees ] that he was "ashamed of how poorly"the company dealt with trolling and promised to take steps to protect its users. In June, the company rolled out a new capability that lets users share block lists and quickly block multiple accounts.

To export or import a list of blocked accounts, visit your Blocked Accounts settings page. Click on the advanced options drop-down menu at the top and select the action you want to take. To share your blocked list, Twitter will convert it to a .csv file, which you can email to others. To upload a blocked list, import the .csv file to your account.

3. Twitter limits the reach of abusive tweets

When tweets go viral, people notice--and that's not always a good thing, as businesses and individuals have learned. To protect users against abusive behavior, in viral situations and otherwise, Twitter began testing a product feature that helps it identify suspected abuse in tweets and limit their reach.

"This feature takes into account a wide range of signals and context that frequently correlates with abuse including the age of the account itself, and the similarity of a tweet to other content that our safety team has, in the past, independently determined to be abusive,"the company said in an announcement.

Twitter has not detailed specifically what "limiting the reach"of abusive tweets entails, but the company says that it will not "affect your ability to see content that you've explicitly sought out."This could mean that while abusive tweets might not appear in your Mentions, you'll still be able to find them in your timeline.

4. Report Twitter threats to law enforcement

If you receive a threatening tweet directed at you, Twitter now lets you package that information into a summary that you can then take to law enforcement. Twitter launched this feature in March.

To report a tweet, click or tap the overflow button "..."then select Report and follow the prompts. If your criteria fits Twitter's definition of abuse, you'll see an option on the last screen to receive a summary of your report via email. This report will package the threatening tweet and URL along with the Twitter username, URL and timestamp of your report.

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