Facebook is not exactly the sort that is well-known for privacy and security. Apart from dodgy data retention policies, its networks are vulnerable to cyber-attacks with a latest breach having claimed fifty million user accounts. Whether it’s a photo bug or confidence tricks, you never know what can strike you.
If you are not willing to delete your Facebook account or switch to any of its alternatives, then you can follow the steps below to secure your Facebook usage. (This is all you can do from your side.)
1. Strong Password
The very first step to make sure your Facebook account is secure is to make sure that you are using a strong password that can’t be easily cracked. It is recommended to use a password manager to help you generate a strong password and to manage all your passwords.
2. Manage Security and Login Settings
Log in to Facebook and click “Settings,” available on the top-right panel. The very first option is “Security and Login Settings.” You should enable two-factor authentication for your Facebook login.
Each time a login occurs from a device that is not recognized, Facebook will send you a six-digit login code. Do remember that if you frequently erase your browsing history, you will receive a fresh code for each subsequent login. It’s a minor botheration but at least you won’t remain a low-hanging fruit for the hackers.
3. Log Out of All Devices Simultaneously
Facebook allows you to keep track of all the devices used to log in to your account. It is available at the “Security and Login Settings” menu item. You can simultaneously log out of all devices and apps, an exercise that should be done periodically to keep your account safe. Each time you log in from an unauthorized device, you can have Facebook send you a warning message.
4. Enable Facebook Privacy Settings
Go to “Settings” and set up your General account. It contains the email address and phone number that were used to originally set up Facebook. Such details must change. While you can have any other email which you normally don’t share with others, go with a virtual number to permanently erase yourself from being able to be tracked on Facebook.
Go to “Privacy Settings and Tools.” Here, you must minimize your public exposure. This includes editing whether search engines such as Google can access your profile. You can also limit your past posts. This is particularly useful if you have an employer who wants to add you to their Facebook.
From here, you can also control who sees your information and who can find you. In the “Who can see my future posts” section, you can control who can see your future posts, whether it’s only you, only your friends, your friends as well as their friends, or whether you just want to make them public. This setting can be changed with each individual post as well. You also have an option to review everything you’ve been tagged in, have commented on, and have liked by clicking on “Use Activity Log.”
You can also see “location settings” for your Facebook account. It should always be kept off, as you definitely don’t want to give Facebook access to your location history.
We all have a few friends who tag us in unexpected ways. You might want to customize this Setting so that only the people you approve can tag you in your timeline.
You can change your phone number from mobile settings and activate text messaging for secure login access.
5. Blocking Settings
In the Blocking settings you can choose who and what to block with regard to people, apps, and invites. One of the most interesting ways to block a person is to put them on the Restricted List. They will be able to see the posts you make Public, but not the ones you publish only to your friends. Yet, they won’t find out that you moved them to the Restricted List. It’s a sneaky way to keep certain things private. Additionally, you can block event invites from certain people. You can also block users outright, where the only contact you will have will be on mutually used apps or posts of mutual friends. Are you tired of getting notifications from apps or invites to apps? You can block app invites from certain friends and can also block certain apps.
6. Check How Much Information You Are Giving Away
Despite all the above security measures, you will find that you are giving away way more information to Facebook than what they need. Visit “Your Facebook Information” where you can download the information revealed.
For example, if you check the address book, you will find the phone numbers of all the people you ever emailed before. It is a serious breach of privacy, but Facebook is blindingly oblivious to the problem.
7. Clear Browsing History Frequently
Many people like to stay logged in on their browser, mistakenly believing that the encryption should make it impenetrable. However, such browsers are a goldmine for hackers and passerby. All they have to do is establish a browser backdoor on a target and use standard hacking tools to decrypt the encrypted password.
A better habit is to frequently erase your browsing history. On Chrome, press Ctrl + H to delete all forms of browsing information including passwords and autofill form data.
For Firefox, enter Ctrl + Shift + Del to clear all history. This is not only secure, but your browser will feel faster after you refresh it.
Alternatively, you can also use the Facebook Container extension for Firefox to contain Facebook in a container.
If you always forget to clear your browser history, another way is to only run Facebook in Incognito Mode. This will wipe your browsing history when you close the browser.
By following all these Facebook privacy settings, you can be sure that you keep your account secure from your end. With the different ways listed here, you will be able to pick the level of security you’re looking for. It looks like a lot, but it will only take a few minutes of your time to be sure your time on Facebook has the privacy you desire.
Do you know of additional tips to secure your Facebook account? Please share them in the comments.