Set up your Facebook Profile so you don’t get hacked!
Believe it or not, there are hackers trying all the time to get your personal login information from the internet. Often times we have our email accounts linked to our Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, FourSquare, Instagram, Apple ID, and more! If a hacker can get the login credentials to one of these accounts, chances are they can make you life miserable. Just think of the damage a hacker could do if they got you Apple ID, they could charge to your credit card and even wipe any devices you might have attached to the account. (Read about a real cyber hack that crippled a WIRED senior writer.) After reading this article I made some serious changes to the security settings in my Facebook and Google accounts. I’ll talk about Facebook settings here.
Let’s start with the obvious = your password. I know it is always the first thing us techies tell people, but it is worth repeating! Your password should be COMPLEX! That means upper case, lower case, characters and numbers. I recommend that you pick a phrase and convert it; for example If my favorite song is Tiny Dancer I could make the password complex like this “T!nyD@nc3r” This meets the all the criteria mentioned earlier. Oh! and one last thing…Don’t use this password for all your accounts. You need different passwords for your accounts. (If you are looking for a password keeper I use 1Password, but LastPass is good as well.)
Facebook Security Settings:
Start by clicking into the settings of your Facebook account (the gear in the top right corner) when you are logged in. (see photo below)
Click the Account Settings and then Security (see photo below)
From this screen I’ll talk about the first four settings, they may not all be for you, but at least you will know what is there.
Click Edit and enable it! Just do it! This will ensure that you will not login to Facebook without a secure “https” url. This is important because you NEVER want to login to ANY site without an “https”.
Click Edit and enable these notifications! This way Facebook will notify you when your account is accessed from a computer or mobile device that has not been used before. Facebook can send you a text message or an email or both. I have both set. The only time I have ever received this notification is when I got a new iPad and the new Mac Book and I was logging into FB for the first time.
OK – this is the serious stuff! Click Edit and check the box that “Requires a security code to access the account from unknown browsers.” The reason for this is that if a hacker does manage to get your login credentials and tries to access your account from their computer there will be another layer of security they need to input. Your will be sent a text to your cell phone with a code that you will need to input to then get access to the account. This is called two-step authentication and I recommend it for Facebook, Google and Apple accounts. YES, it means that if YOU are loggin into YOUR own account from a new computer you will need to jump through all the hoops too, but trust me it is worth it!
Click edit and enable to ensure your cell number is in there and you authorize FB to send you the text message codes for the login approvals above.
Finally – Safe Tips
I often post to FB that I know hackers are trying to get my credentials. It comes usually in spurts, 3 to 5 tries at a time. I know this because I get emails saying I requested a new FB password, when I haven’t and I usually will get text messages with the the code to enter to “reset” my password. These usually come in the middle of the night. Do I worry? nope! I’m not worried because my password is so secure for my email and my FB that I feel confident that I am secure.
I do recommend that you NEVER click anything from any email that might say it’s from Facebook. If you want to access you FB account go to a browser and go to FB from there.
Change your password every few months!
And finally, be smart and safe online & make sure your Privacy settings are set to Friends Only!!! You do not want the world to come across a post in a Google search!