How to make your Venmo transactions private

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Image Credit: Venmo
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If you’re in Venmo’s key demographic of millennials, you probably use the mobile payment service without thinking much about it.

But did you know that each time you do a transaction three pieces of info — your recipient’s name, the date of your transaction and the purpose of your transaction — go public?

Unless, that is, you know how to turn that unwanted sharing feature off.

RELATED: Venmo settles FTC allegations about privacy violations and delayed funds

Protect yourself when using Venmo

If you’re fatigued on all the talk of Facebook and Cambridge Analytica, here’s another privacy issue that’s been flying under the radar.

Did you know that all Venmo transactions default to being publicly viewable? That’s the discovery a technology correspondent for CNBC recently made.

Todd Haselton found tons of publicly viewable transactions in his feed from people who he was not connected with in any way on Venmo.

He found charges from random Venmo users who were going to movie night, attending a Phillies baseball game, eating a meal out a Chili’s and even paying their share of a summer beach rental home, to name just a few instances.

Info like this, while not exactly earth-shattering, could give away your likely location and maybe signal who you’re living with — if it involves something like splitting an Internet bill — among other things.

Just about the only key piece of info that was missing in what Haselton found was the dollar amount of each transaction!

Turns out it’s pretty easy to limit all the unwanted sharing, and Venmo provides instructions.

After logging into your account, do the following…

Change your default privacy setting

For desktop users

  1. Begin by logging in to Venmo.com.
  2. Navigate to ‘Settings’ -> ‘Privacy‘ and then select ‘Private’ as your preferred default privacy setting.
  3. Be sure to click ‘Save Settings’ to lock in your privacy choices.

For app users

  1. You’ll want to be sure you have the latest version of the app before starting.
  2. Tap the ‘☰’ icon in the upper left
  3. Tap ‘Settings’
  4. Select ‘Privacy’
  5. Select ‘Private’ as your preferred default privacy setting under ‘Default Privacy Setting.’

While you’re in there, you can also go ahead and change the default privacy setting for past payments by clicking ‘Change All to Private’ under the ‘Past Payments’ section.

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Theo Thimou About the author:
Theo has co-written several books with Clark Howard, including the #1 New York Times bestseller "Living Large in Lean Times."
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