The blue 'Privacy settings' box in the bottom right corner is a new legal requirement under GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation). It can’t be dismissed or hidden as the idea is that it must be easy to access at all times should you wish to change your settings.
Something for the weekend... A note on the spam filter
If you get spam leaking through outside of office hours, you can click the Flag button at the bottom of a post, and then click Spam. After five people have reported a post as Spam (you'll see a count on the post), the post will automatically be removed from the forum until a moderator can get to it, to approve or decline...
Don't forget, you can dismiss these announcements once you've read them by clicking the cog icon next to the thread title in Recent discussions, and then clicking Dismiss.