Protecting your privacy is becoming even more important because there are so many ways for hackers, spammers, and malicious software to attack your computer and steal your personal information. Educating yourself on how to properly configure your security settings is vital in protecting yourself from these attacks. With some simple adjustments to your Facebook settings, you can begin to take measures to protect your personal information immediately. Did you know that it’s not only what apps and websites YOU allow to access your Facebook account, it’s also what your friends allow on theirs that attach to your account and impact what information is shared about you. You have options so let’s learn how to use them!
Set Yourself Up For Success
Having your Facebook account hacked or seeing a friends account spam your inbox with malicious emails is becoming more common. If your account is hacked, that means they have accessed your email account and if you use the same email account for your online banking or any other sensitive information, you could be in danger of identity theft and or hacked bank accounts. Here are a few things you can do to manage that.
- When setting up your Facebook account you should use an email address dedicated just to your Facebook activity. That way, if your account is ever jeopardized, your personal data is still safe. There are plenty of free email services like Gmail, Yahoo , and Hotmail that you could use for this purpose.
- Your password should be strong and secure. For heaven sake, don’t use “password” or something easy to guess! It should be complex with upper and lower case letters as well as numbers or symbols. Use this password STRICTLY for your Facebook account so if it were to be guessed, your other accounts are still safe.
Where Are My Security Settings?
1. At the top of your Timeline Toolbar, click on the arrow to open the drop down menu and then click Account Settings.
2. From the left sidebar click “Security”. You’ll now see several settings in this section you should look at and adjust accordingly. We’ll look at each of them and you can decide which settings you think should be enabled for your account.
Enable Secure Browsing
This feature encrypts your Facebook information making it hard for anyone to access it without your permission. Malware and virus attacks are limited when you browse on a secure network.
Use this to be notified by text or email when your account is being accessed by a device that hasn’t been used before. This can foil someone’s attempt to log into your account as you.
It’s great to be notified if someone tries to access your account but there are times when you’ll log in on someone else’s device and you still want to be able to use your account. Setting the Login Approvals will require you to enter a code each time your account is accessed from an unknown device. Only you receive the code by text message so if a hacker was trying to access your account, they wouldn’t be able to login.
If you have login approvals turned on, you may not be able to access some of your apps. You can instead create app passwords instead of your account password to securely log into apps. Click the “Generate App Passwords” to set up passwords for things like Xbox and Skype.
When you open this section you’ll see a list of devices that have accessed your account. If you see any that you don’t recognize, remove them from the list. Everything on the list will be allowed to access your account without having to prove identity.
Here’s one that shocked me when I saw a few active sessions that weren’t me! Look over the active sessions and clear out any you don’t recognize as your own. If you had active sessions that weren’t you, you (and I!) need to setup the proper security settings we are going over in this section ASAP!
Now that we have discussed how your Facebook should be secure in the settings, let’s look at how to set privacy and security settings for posts and what is posted about you. From the main drop down menu, select “Privacy settings”.
You will now see what your current settings are for sharing on Facebook. You can choose one of the settings for who can see your updates and then you can further customize each of those sections.
How To Connect
Select how people can find and contact you by looking at each of the settings. Choose the ones that make sense for how you use Facebook and how you want to connect to others who use it too. You never know who’s looking at your wall or information so it’s best to limit the amount of specific information you share, like your address and phone number.
Tag Your It!
Protect your personal information and activities by choosing what can be posted to your timeline, who can see what’s posted, and who can see posts you’ve been tagged in. You can also enable the settings to review posts before they appear on your Timeline.
That’s a lot of information to digest, so take some time to adjust what needs adjusting and come back for part 2 of this series. In Part 2, we’ll discuss the importance of managing apps and what information they access as well as customizing posts that will show only to those selected. Don’t let the dark side of the Internet scare you away from taking part in the fun of social media, just be smart about what you share and how!