Tip: How to keep your Facebook account safe
I have been asked recently how to keep your account safe on Facebook and while this is for Facebook, the general example can also apply to any social media tips.
- First, pick a very strong password. Don’t use just any password, make it difficult so the troublemakers can’t gain access. Use a combination of no less than six numbers, letters (upper and lower case), symbols (not every site will accept those) and punctuation marks like # and ^.
- Check your email account you are using for Facebook or other social media and make sure it is safe and secure.
- Remember to log out of Facebook completely if you are sharing your computer, phone, laptop or tablet with other people.
- Always make sure to run anti-virus to protect yourself. You just never know what made it’s way onto your computer from visiting other sites.
- Use Facebook’s extra security measures like the following:
The Active Sessions section of your Security Settings page shows you a list of the recent times your Facebook account was accessed. Each entry includes the date, time and approximate location when signing in, as well as the type of device used to access your account. You’ll also see the option to end any active session.
Note: The location you see is based off of the IP address used to access your account. If you want to know the specific IP information of a login, simply hover your mouse over that session’s location data.
For more information on how to use this feature, check out this Facebook Security note.
How to keep your account safe from troublemakers:
Think before you click a link. Sometimes your friends send you a link to some great site but you never know what actually is on there and even if your friend is aware they sent it in the first place. Only click links you know are legitimate and which you are not required to do anything other than visit. If you have to do a survey and or are required to give personal info, leave the page immediately has it is spammy fake post. You can take it a step further and just not click any links and stay safe. Do not under any circumstances, download any files like the .exe which can execute a virus or some other bad stuff. You also shouldn’t download things (ex: a .exe file) if you aren’t sure what they are. Learn more about recognizing suspicious emails.
Don’t accept friend requests from people you don’t know. Sometimes scammers will create fake accounts to friend people. Becoming friends with scammers allows them access to spam your Timeline, tag you in posts and send you malicious messages. Your real friends may also end up being targeted.
Pick a unique, strong password. Use combinations of at least 6 letters, numbers and punctuation marks and don’t use this password for any of your other accounts. You can also use a password safe like LastPass, KeePass or 1Password to set and remember unique passwords for your account. Learn how to change your password.
Never give out your login info (ex: email address and password). Sometimes people or pages will promise you something (ex: free poker chips) if you share your login info with them. These types of deals are carried out by cybercriminals and violate the Facebook Statement of Rights and Responsibilities. If you’re ever asked to re-enter your password on Facebook (ex: you’re making changes to your account settings) check to make sure the address of the page still has facebook.com/ in the URL.
Log in at www.facebook.com. Sometimes scammers will set up a fake page to look like a Facebook login page, hoping to get you to enter your email address and password. Make sure you check the page’s URL (web address) before you enter your login info. When in doubt, you can always type facebook.com into your browser to get back to the real Facebook.
Update your browser. The newest versions of internet browsers have built in security protections. For example, they might be able to warn you if you’re about to go to a suspected phishing site. Facebook supports: