The convolutedness of Facebook privacy settings and the lack of the lay-man’s knowledge of just what, and how much, data is being collected by companies and in particular social media sites is a discussion tech journalists often have. What happens when Facebook adds a new feature that is automatically on? How about being able to view exactly where you’ve been using location history in Google maps (not tried it yet? Have a look here).
It’s a little scary but AVG are attempting to make it less so with the new free AVG Zen app. AVG Zen is designed to connect your smart devices and ensure they stay private and secure.
In essence it’s really simple. You connect all your social media profiles in one app and it tells you what your privacy settings are for each in a simple layout. An amber exclamation mark suggests a setting you might want to address while a grey one informs you that you’ve looked at that setting and decided you’d like to keep it on. A green lock signifies you have turned that setting off.
The simple traffic light system is the same across all types of profile and a tap sends you directly to the settings page for that individual setting (on Facebook for example) so you can easily turn it on or off.
An added bonus is that AVG will monitor social networks and notify you if a new setting has appeared so you won’t get blind-sided by an unexpected privacy setting you were not expecting.
Profiles can also be shared among family members so you can decide what a safe level of privacy is for your family and push those settings to others via the app. It will then be up to the individual to copy those settings or keep them as is. It’s perfect for the more technically savvy member of a family to have peace of mind that everyone is protected.
I’m looking forward to trying it out on my own devices as well as passing on settings to my young nieces and parents who love social media but never really consider the data implications.
AVG Zen will be available for free at the end of March 2014.