Securing Facebook

Facebook may be a fun and convenient way to catch up with old high school buddies, but it’s also a treasure trove of information that bad actors could exploit to gain valuable information about you. Here are some ways you can be sure your information is safe. These screenshot illustrations were taken from a desktop.

This first bit of advice applies not only to Facebook but to all sites: Use a strong password. Best practice recommendation is to make the password 12 to 14 or more characters long and to use a mix of upper and lower-case characters, numbers, characters. Never include any personal information in a password.

Something else you can do is use login approvals. This second factor or authentication helps secure your account by requiring Facebook to send you a code after you enter your password to get logged in. This feature—called “Login Approvals” on Facebook—can be enabled from Settings > Security > Login Approvals. Check the box next to “Require a login code to access my account from unknown browsers.”

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After you set this, the next time you log in it will prompt for the code when you go to login.

The next feature to help make sure your Facebook account is secure is to use Login Alerts. This will let you see who is logged into your account and also alert you if someone else tries to login to your account. You can choose to get the alerts as a text message, email or Facebook notification. To set this up, go to Settings > Security > Login Alerts.

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The next time someone tries to log into your account from an unrecognized device or even browser, you will be notified.

Another way to help keep your Facebook secure is to audit what your installed Apps have access to. In general, it’s a good idea to remove apps you no longer use. Just because you don’t use an app, that doesn’t mean it stops using your information. To see which apps you are using with Facebook, go to Settings > Apps. From here you can remove old, unused apps and control which information those apps use. Hover over the app name and you will see a pencil and an X appear on the right side. Click on the pencil to edit that access for that app.

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From the edit screen, you can change who sees that you use the app and adjust other settings. Some of the other settings to consider are what the apps have access to. Just apply your own common sense to determine if, for example, a weather app you use might want access to your contacts. If there’s no logical reason for a weather app to require access to your contacts, factor that into your decision and make the appropriate setting adjustments.

Taking these few steps can help to make your Facebook safer to use and more enjoyable as well.

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