Are you one of the 1.5 billion Facebook users? With such a massive user-base, it’s almost impossible to stay out of the social media loop. While using Facebook can be great, there are some risks inherent in all types of social
networking. This article will focus on what they are and how you can deal with them.
Making You Facebook Profile More Private
The most basic measure of Facebook privacy is to make your profile less public. That can be achieved by restricting who can see your profile. To do that, you should:
- Enter your Facebook profile
- Click on the arrow icon pointing down in the upper right section of the page
- Click on Settings, then enter Privacy
- Edit Who can see my future posts to Friends or Only me
- Edit Who can contact me to Friends of friends
- Change the Who can look me up? subcategory of Do you want search engine outside of Facebook to link to your profile? to No.
This is the simplest method, but it can prove quite effective.
Be Careful What You’re Posting
Even if you’ve restricted access to your profile, all the information inside your Facebook account is still in danger. Be very careful what you put there. The best method of protecting your privacy is to avoid posting personal information. You can use an alias as your Facebook name, instead of your real name. The site will ask you for all sorts of personal information like your phone, address, where you went to school, where you work, when and where you were born, who’s your mother and father, the list goes on and on. It’s unlikely that the Facebook team would use this information for malicious purposes, but if your account gets hacked, then all this data will fall into the hands the attackers. Our advice is to avoid giving this information altogether. It’s too risky.
You should also be careful about the pictures you’re posting. Again, even if you change the setting so only your profile can view them, it’s still possible for crooks who’ve hacked your account to gain access to photos. Be extra careful about posting pictures of your home and family, nude pictures, or of expensive items you own. This information can be used by crooks for all sorts of nefarious purposes like blackmail, identity theft, regular theft, and others.
You profile picture is always public, keep that in mind when setting a Facebook avatar. To add further anonymity, don’t use a profile picture of yourself.
Be Careful Who You Befriend on Facebook
It’s a long established fact that a Facebook friend doesn’t necessarily mean a real friend, but that doesn’t mean you can add just anyone. Often, crooks create fake profiles and send a myriad of friend requests. People in your friend list have a broader access to your profile’s information. The faux profiles are often made to look like they belong to sexy women, celebrities, or even fictional characters or historical figures. Another trick the creators of fake Facebooks use is to clone the profile of a real person and send requests to his friends. They claim that the new profile was made due to a forgotten password, but password recovery is much easier than making a new profile from scratch, so don’t fall for this trick.
Don’t add friends unless you’re sure the profile is authentic. Don’t add people willy-nilly like most Facebook users with 1000+ friends. It’s also a healthy to clear your friend list now and then.
Passwording 101 – How to Set a Good Password
You can follow these guidelines to pretty much every password you’re setting:
- Make the password as long as possible
- Include capital letters, numbers, symbols
- Don’t use simple dictionary words
- Don’t use the most obvious passwords like 12345678, or password; they’re extremely easy to crack
- Change your password frequently
- Don’t re-use passwords. If one account is hacked, the crooks will try to use the same password on different accounts.
- Don’t use information like your birthdate, the name of your relatives, or your dog
It’s equally important to set a good password to the email your Facebook profile is using. If they crack it, they can easily access your Facebook profile using. The email can be used to hack your account using the “Forgot password” function. Which brings us to…
Facebook Password Recovery Abuse
Password recovery is an incredibly useful invention for the more forgetful users. It can, however, be abused. The most common ways of breaching accounts through password recovery are:
- Hacking the email address of the Facebook profile and resetting the password through the Forgot Password function.
- Guessing your Secret Question. Again, this is done through the Forgot Password function. Some people provide the answers to their secret question on their very Facebook wall by posting the name of their school, pet, or other personal information. Don’t be one of those people, never reveal the answer to your secret question.
Keep Your Phone/ Tablet Secure
Your devices can be used to access your Facebook account, especially if you’ve enabled automatic login. If someone steals your device, he/she simply needs to turn it on to gain access. You can check out our guide to Android security, which can help you protect your Android device. The basic guidelines can be applied to other operating systems. Lock your screen, encrypt your device, don’t leave it unattended in public places. This is not only dangerous in terms of cyber-security, but It can also lead to some annoying pranks, like your friend posting something embarrassing on your wall, or switching your name, profile picture, and other Facebook settings.
Don’t Access Your Account on an Infected System
If your computer was infected with malicious content like a trojan virus, ransomware, or a browser hijackera it’s best to avoid entering Facebook. These infections can include spyware which can be used to breach your account. It’s best to keep out of logging into Facebook until you’ve cleared the infection.
Facebook Security – Conclusion
Following these rules will improve your Facebook security immensely. If you want to improve your Google privacy, you can check out our guide on stopping Google Tracking.
Remember, prevention is always the best medicine. Don’t let your Facebook security in the hands of fate.