When you create a public Twitter account, any Twitter user -- whether they follow you on the network or not -- can visit your profile page on the Web to see your tweets, replies, favorites and lists of people you're following and being followed by. The only way of hiding your followers and who you're following is to make your account protected, which will hide most of the other sections on your profile at the same time.

Followers and Following

Open up any public Twitter profile (including your own) and there are "Following" and "Followers" links on the left. As long as the profile and its tweets are public, these lists are viewable by any visitors with a Twitter account whether or not they are currently following you. If you are currently signed into Twitter, you can subscribe to any of the accounts listed by clicking the relevant "Follow" button.

Protecting an Account

You can't remove the Following and Followers lists from your profile, but you can hide them -- along with most of the other information on your profile -- by protecting your account. When you view a protected profile page, all you can see is the user bio information unless you're an approved follower. Once protected, your profile page is similarly restricted, though any Twitter users you have approved as followers will still be able to access your Following and Followers pages. You can protect your account from the Security and privacy section of the settings page on the Twitter website.

How Protected Accounts Work

Choose to protect your tweets and any new followers must be specifically approved by you before they can see your updates. In addition, your tweets won't appear in search results and can't be retweeted. Most of the pages that make up your profile, including your followers, the people you're following, your favorites and your tweets, are hidden from visitors who haven't been approved as followers.

Creating Twitter Lists

One alternative way of hiding which accounts you subscribe to on Twitter is to not follow anyone in the conventional way, that is, by clicking "Follow" on a Twitter profile or button. Instead, create a private list of users through the Lists section of your profile and add selected users to it one by one. You can check for updates by opening the list page, but because it is marked as private no one else will be able to see the user accounts it includes or the tweets from these users. List pages update in the same way as the Twitter timeline, with new tweets appearing at the top of the page.