In the world of social networks, Foursquare is sort of like the captain of the cheerleading squad: Its very existence is predicated on the idea of nonstop, chatty oversharing. In practical terms, that means attempts to protect your privacy are almost oxymoronic: When you’re checking in everywhere you wander, tagging friends and posting a firehose of updates to all your other social networks, you've left very little info to the imagination.

Still, Foursquare obviously offers some appealing functionality, including discounts, rewards and coupons (and bragging rights about your badges, if that appeals to you), so it’s all about cutting your privacy losses. For inspiration, take a visit to the daunting matrix linked on the service’s Privacy page that spells out what data and actions are seen by friends or the public at large by default. Now you get it?

1. Hide Your Location

The hard choice to make is whether you broadcast your location publicly, and we’d suggest you opt to make a default setting to hide your location (you can still check in, and they’ll be saved in your history) and then perhaps opt to turn it on for special occasions.