Social Networks

Published on March 1st, 2013 | by Mark

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Deviantart.com

An online community that showcases various types of user-made artworks with the option to comment on the work.  Over 250 million pieces of art have been submitted to its servers and the community numbers more than 25 million users.

Becoming Deviant

Signing up for a deviantART account is easy and very straightforward to do.  To register for an account you need to choose a password and apparently deviantART poses no restriction on the kind of password you can input.

The registration pages does not mention any character limits, but it includes a recommendation that passwords should have a mix of uppercase and lowercase letters, as well as numbers and symbols.  You can also learn more tips on how to choose a strong password by clicking on the ‘More information’ link below the password entry box.  deviantART also provide a gauge that marks the relative strength of your chosen password with a four-level indicator that goes from poor, fair, okay and strong.

Looking After Your Turf

Most exchanges that occur on deviantART are public by nature and SSL is not yet supported on this website.  The Support and Settings pages are both reportedly encrypted, however this level of security is not extended to other parts of the website.  At present there is no set up for two-factor authentication.

Securing Your Art

There are not many sophisticated security settings available on deviantART.  To access and tweak your account settings, you need to hover over your username at the top of any deviantART page then select ‘Settings’ from the drop-down menu that appears.

On the Settings page you have the options to change your password and email address, check which users are blocked, view a list of all open sessions of deviantART linked to your username  and review the third party applications that are connected to your account.

Who’s Watching You?

deviantART collects a variety of personal data through the registration process and from the user’s activities on the website.

According to its Privacy Policy, deviantART uses personal information to communicate with you, to process orders for products and services, to customize advertising and content available deviantART, to conduct research for internal purposes and to use such information to improve service. deviantART does not share personal information with third parties unless you give your permission.

Although some information may be disclosed to companies engaged by deviantART to help it in its functions, these third parties are required to use the information for the purposes they’ve been entrusted with only.

Taking Off

deviantART is not very upfront about what happens when users close their accounts.  Instead of deleting their account outright, users have the options to ‘deactivate’ the account.  The link to deactivate your account can be accessed through the Settings page.

Once your account is deactivated: your profile page is wiped clean and all your deviations, journals, blog posts and news articles submissions are deleted.  Deactivated accounts may be reactivated after 48 hours have passed; this applies up until 30 days after the original deactivation.

You can access the reactivation feature by going to your account settings page.  Once an account passes the 30 day self-reactivation period it can no longer be reactivated.

ARTful Dodgers

There have been no reports of major security breaches and hacking of deviantART accounts.  Although there were isolated reports of users claiming to have had their accounts hacked, there have been no serious security issues.

Adding Apps To Your deviantArt

deviantART does not hold itself responsible for the safety of the third party applications that integrate into its websites.  It is up to the users to reviews these applications’ policies and decided whether to trust them with access or not.  deviantART offers an easy way to control the applications you have given authorisation to access your data.  On the Settings page, you can see a list of all third party applications that have been linked to your account and you can easily revoke authorisation from this page.

Tools To Manage Your Data

There are not many tools available to deviantART users to track down their information.  However deviantART, through the Settings page, allows you to review a list of all open sessions that were accessed through your username with the time and location of the login.  You can easily log out of any sessions that you forgot to close or you that don’t recognise as originating from a computer that you use.

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