Protect your “social” life.
There’s no question Facebook is a treasure trove of personal data. This makes them the perfect prey among hackers, trolls, online predators, and even data-hungry enterprises willing to do whatever it takes to obtain the personal data of unwitting Facebook users.
It seems that no matter how big the social media giant continues to grow exponentially, problems involving privacy and security lapses still persist within its walls. Despite constant impositions of privacy regulations and enhanced security measures, Facebook remains vulnerable to threats and attacks.
That said, entrusting our data solely to Facebook is no longer an option. We have to take matters into our own hands, in order for us to preserve our privacy and security when using social media channels. These steps may not guarantee full protection against cyber threats. But it will greatly help in fending off potential attackers lurking on your profile.
Here are a few tips on how to keep your Facebook account secure.
Keep your password
Using a strong password has always been a rule of thumb among Internet users. We can’t simply overstate it. Make sure to have a password that utilizes alpha-numeric combinations with random sequences. It is also advisable to change your password at least once every three to six months. This way, you’ll have the upper hand when protecting your account against hackers who use brute-force attacks to infiltrate your account.
For your data’s sake, never use your birthday, name, or even “password”, itself, as your password. Avoid using the same password for your other accounts on other services. Instead, make use of a password manager to help generate and remember unique passwords for you.
Make sure to enable Two-Factor Authentication
Two-Factor Authentication is one way to add an extra layer of security to your account. This works by entering a unique login code to verify your actual login attempt in case someone tries to access your account from an unrecognized browser or mobile device. At the same time, the system will notify you in the event an unrecognized login attempt is detected.
Make sure to set this up and enable this from your Facebook settings. Go to Security and Login, scroll down to Use Two-Factor Authentication, then tap edit. Choose from the security methods whether you want to receive your 2FA codes via SMS or a third-party authentication app such as Google Authenticator.
Set login alerts and review past logins
Login alerts come in handy in the event a potential intruder has gained access to your account. Upon logging in from an unrecognized device or browser, Facebook will promptly inform you of the activity. Tap on the notification to redirect you to the security page. From here, you’ll be able to review your recent login activities, complete with time stamps, location, and type of browser/device. Tap the options icon (three vertical dots) to log out all unrecognized logins. While you’re at it, might as well remove your past recognized devices and unauthorized logins by tapping the “X” icon. Or better yet, click on Log Out of All Sessions to reset all access to your Facebook account.
Avoid accepting Friend Requests from strangers
The proverbial “stranger danger” still applies in the digital world, especially on Facebook. Fraud and identity theft cases usually start from innocuous Friend Requests. The next thing you know, someone’s catfishing you and using your identity to scam people.
When someone you don’t know tries to add you on Facebook, make sure to do in-depth research and background check before accepting them. Check for mutual friends, their About Me page, and everything. When in doubt, reject their request. As an added precaution, you can also limit your past post from being visible to others. To do this, go to the Privacy section and click for Limit Past Post.
Avoid click-bait links and dubious apps
Not everything you see on Facebook is true and legit. Some, if not most of them are potential threats to your privacy and security. That’s why it is wise to stay vigilant, especially when clicking a link or downloading a sketchy app you once saw on a Facebook ad. These potentially harmful clickables are effective means to siphon your stored data on Facebook. In most cases, harmful links pose as articles, video content, and even contests that promise cash prices. The common denominator among these links is the “clickbait titles” which they use to draw attention.
To avoid this, be mindful of the links you click on your timeline. Always get your source of Facebook information from reputable brands and official pages. For apps and games, make sure to check the app’s ratings/reviews and download them exclusively from Google Play or the App Store.
It is completely understandable to feel paranoid and doubtful when staying online, especially after what happened to that infamous Cambridge Analytica debacle among other anomalies that happened in Facebook. And that’s perfectly fine. After all, it is our responsibility as users and account owners to proactively secure and protect our personal information at all costs.
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