Securing Your Facebook Account

Online services are inherently insecure because they are applications that you are sharing with others on the same server. In this information age, your information is a valuable commodity. Information about where you vacation, where you live, the names and ages of your family members is a marketing goldmine and it has a value of a few pennies to a few dollars depending on how complete the information is. So when your Facebook account gets hacked someone makes money off of you, all of your friends get very annoyed and you might even loose your account completely and have to start all over again.

Now that many businesses are using Facebook to communicate with their customers the loss of your account can really hurt.

Facebook has been steadily adding security features to help combat this problem. I’m going to suggest a few and also recommend that you check your account settings pages on a regular basis for new security features and add them as they come along.

  1. Use a long password and remember if you are using your Facebook ID to log into other websites than when you read that, that site has been hacked (like Dropbox) then you need to change your Facebook password too.
  2. Add a security question. This way when changes are made to your account there will be a second hurdle to jump.
    1. Click the account menu at the top right of any Facebook page and choose Account Settings. From the left column menu, click Security. Click on the Security Question section
  3. Turn on secure browsing. This will keep your Facebook browsing encrypted so when you are in a public space the content can’t be viewed by sniffers.
    1. Go to your Security Settings page ( Account Settings > Security) Click on the Secure Browsing section. Check the box provided and save your changes
  4. Turn on Login notifications. With this setting on you will get a notification every time a device logs into your account from a different IP address. If you are notified that a device you don’t recognize has logged in go immediately to your Facebook page and change your password.
    1. Go to your Security Settings page ( Account Security > Security) Click on the Login Notifications section. Check the box next to the type of alerts you’d like to receive and save your changes

Those settings will be enough to keep your account from being the lowest hanging fruit. In the Account Settings/Security section you will see many other settings you can also add. Whether you need those or not will depend upon how you are using Facebook. Browse through them and implement any additional security features that appeal to you and consider the list I provided a baseline starting point for all Facebook users.

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