Let’s face it, just about everybody is on Facebook these days. Friends, family, co-workers, passing acquaintances, thieves, robbers, low-life’s. That’s right, in addition to all those people you love staying connected to and enjoy sharing special moments with, there are bad folks lurking in the Internet shadows, too.
So we here at Unicorn Web Development are going to give you some helpful tips on ways to continue enjoying Facebook while at the same time protecting your personal information.
* First, and foremost, take a few minutes and do an automated privacy checkup. Unbeknownst to many users, Facebook makes available a program that will review your account and make helpful suggestions. Just click on the little padlock in the upper right corner of the page and select “privacy checkup.” Once in there, you will find three settings — who sees your posts, who sees content from specific Facebook apps and who can see your personal information, such as hometown, phone number, email address, etc. Many of us selected these settings years ago when we first set up our account. Take a moment and review those settings to be sure you are being protected.
* Facebook also offers users a security checkup (www.facebook.com/securitycheckup) that goes a bit further in protecting your account, including: the ability to log out of apps you no longer use but still access your personal information; turning on alerts oif your account is accessed by a new device in case it’s not yours; and reviewing some basic password tips to make sure nobody can easily guess your current password.
* Another setting experts urge everyone to use is something called “two-factor authentication.” Essentially it requires you to add a secret code on top of your typical password when you — or anybody else — tries to access your account from an untrusted device. If it’s you, then it’s one easy extra step. If it’s not you, it could stop the intruder cold! Go to settings, click the drop down menu, then select “more” in the Facebook app, then select “security” and then “login approvals” to add that setting.
* Showing the Facebook folks are giving security a lot of thought, they also have a backup plan if you are ever locked out of your account. Using the “trusted contacts” process, you identify three to five close friends who Facebook would contact if your account is hijacked. Facebook would send each of them a security code that they would then give to you; in turn, you would give Facebook all these security codes to show you are the person they all know so that you can then reclaim the account. This option is available under the “security settings” and then clicking “trusted contacts.”
* Apps can accumulate over time and all of them which you entered using Facebook would have some of your personal information. From time to time you should go to “settings” available through the Facebook homepage in the top right corner and select “apps.” If there are any old apps you don’t use, you can delete them; there’s also the option to review new apps and make sure you aren’t providing too much information there, too.
* Don’t forget to review your Facebook “activity log,” especially if you suspect someone is improperly using your account. Go to your profile page and select “view activity log” where you can see a list of all your posts, likes, requests, and tags. Make sure they are all yours!
Taking a few minutes to do these things could save you a world of hurt later. With October being National Cyber Security Month, now is the time to do it. And, as always, if you have any questions or concerns please contact us at Unicorn Web Development.