Facebook is a part of our daily life. Without posting a photo, status updates, or comments a day won’t complete for most of us.
Sometimes we may share highly confidential information among thousands of unknown friends in the social network. We don’t know who are they, where are they coming from, and whether they represent an actual person or not. We neglect all these things and post whatever we want on Facebook because of personal interests.
Facebook security is very important nowadays. Your account may be hacked by cybercriminals any time if you are not taking enough steps to give it hacking-proof protection.
Our guide will give you detailed knowledge of essential security settings for a Facebook account.
A strong password is essential for any web account. It should be alphanumeric mixed with numbers, alphabets, and special characters. Password once used should not be used on any other site. It may affect the security of both accounts.
Never share your credentials with others even though how much closer they are. Some people have the practice of saving passwords on the browser. But it’s not a good thing. There is a chance to use your system by someone else when you are away. If you are not secured on the computer or mobile using a password, others may get access to your settings or web accounts. So it’s better to avoid saving Facebook credentials on the browser by using inbuilt options or extensions.
LastPass like password managers are popular and used by millions of users to store login information. Protect your data with a master password and make a proper log-out after each session.
2. Get Alerts
Get alerts if anyone logs in to your account from unrecognized sources. Facebook will memorize your frequently using login devices, browsers and notifies you of suspicious login attempts.
Option is available here: Settings > Security and login > Setting up extra security
3. Two-factor Authentication
Activate two-factor authentication on your Facebook account. There are several methods to turn on protection. Text message is most popular among them. You will get a verification code in a registered mobile number after signing in with your regular credentials. Submit the code to access your profile. If not, you won’t be able to log in.
Universal 2nd Factor (U2F) security key is another option to turn on the feature. Here you have to tap physical security key as second step verification for login. But the main drawback is that this function will work with certain browsers and mobile devices only. In such a situation you should use alternate ways to confirm your identity.
Instead of text messages, you can generate verification codes using smartphone authenticator apps. If none of these options work, use Facebook recovery codes. You can download them from https://www.facebook.com/security/2fac/settings/ to use in emergency situations when you don’t have your phone with you.
Option is available here: Settings > Security and login > Two-factor authentication
4. App Passwords
We sign in to several websites and apps with our Facebook account. We are not reading what type of permissions it collects and blindly click the OK button to use their service. Such apps can grab important information from your account like personal details, friends list, and history which may affect your account safety at a later time. So instead of giving blind permissions, it’s better to generate passwords for each of the apps.
Option is available here: Settings > Security and login > App Passwords
5. Public Key
If you want to encrypt all the notification emails sent by Facebook, download and insert the key in the corresponding box. The file can be opened with Notepad and paste into your OpenPGP public key field. Put a tick mark on the following option to encrypt notification emails on Facebook.
Option is available here: Settings > Security and login > Encrypted notification emails
6. Trusted Contacts
A friend in need is a friend indeed. Your Facebook account may be locked because of suspicious activities or hacking attempts. In such a situation you will need friends’ help to get back the account. Add your reliable friends to the trusted contacts list. Choose them carefully as they should help you when a need arises.
Option is available here: Settings > Security and login > Trusted Contacts
7. Authorised Devices
Check recognized devices in your list for which you won’t get login notifications. If you are not familiar with any of them, remove the same from further free access.
Option is available here: Settings > Security and login > Authorised logins
8. Signing in Activity
Review signing in the activity of your account. It will show the location, device, browser and operating system used for login. Put an end on suspicious sessions or clear everything at once.
The option is available here: Settings > Security and login > Where You’re Logged In.
9. Profile picture login
Profile picture login is an interesting feature Facebook introduced recently. It lets you log in to the account without using an email address, mobile phone, and profile picture.
The feature is more useful especially if you are using Facebook on public computers. Others can’t sign in to the account without identifying your picture and getting the password. Delete no longer using devices and browsers from the list to avoid misuse if any.
10. Say no to free WiFi
You should be familiar with the term free WiFi zones now. They let you browse the internet from a laptop, mobile without any charges. But what about your online safety?
There may not be sufficient security precautions taken, so criminals can break into their systems and collect your confidential information. If you are not sure about the authenticity of WiFi providers, stay away from using your personal accounts there.
11. Beware of proxies
Proxy is another term that you should be taken care of. We use them for browsing blocked websites in your country. But remember that, such proxies help us to surpass a law anyway. We don’t know what type of information they are collecting from our side too. So avoid them.
12. Be secured with Antivirus
Install and use a good anti-virus application on your system. It protects you from malicious attacks and monitor apps regularly for suspicious activities. So no one can install unwanted apps on the device to collect your internet banking, credit card and other login details.
13. Lock connected devices
You may have trusted devices for using emails and social accounts. It may be your personal laptop, mobile or even office computer. Lock them when you are not using them. Otherwise, anyone can access your connected accounts on behalf of the original user.
14. Update Operating System and browsers
Turn on automatic updates for your operating system and browsers. Developers will send timely updates to prevent the latest security threats which may harm your computer. If you don’t want to become another victim of hacking, use the latest version of OS and browsers.
15. Avoid apps from nonsecured sources
You will find thousands of websites to download free apps. Some of them offer cracked versions of premium apps too. But we know that no one will do such jobs for charity. They will get some type of benefit for offering free content. Cracked apps may contain malicious codes to track and send confidential details to unknown servers. So you should install programs either from official stores or from trusted sites that have an HTTPS certificate. HTTPS guarantees that the said website or store using the encrypted protocol for communications which provides enhanced security to all your activities, so no one else can collect them from the middle.
16. Never click unknown message links
Facebook users get virus links in the form of messages. Once clicked, it may infect your account and will send the same link to everyone on your friend list. They will open the link in the belief that it’s sent by you. Before clicking a link, make sure that it’s sent by the same person and not spyware.
17. Use incognito mode
When browsing through public computers, use the incognito mode of modern browsers. It is useful for not storing your browsing activities like websites visiting, downloads, passwords anywhere on the system or server.
To enable incognito mode in Chrome and Firefox browsers, press Ctrl+Shift+N (Windows) or Command+Shift+N (Mac) together. Microsoft Edge and Internet Explorer users should press Ctrl+Shift+P to activate the feature.
18. Update your contact information
Update your phone number, email id with Facebook. The social network will send the verification link to them, in case you lost access to the account. So always add your latest mobile number and email to the profile.
19. Legacy contact
Legacy contact lets others manage your Facebook account after the death of yours. They will be able to pin posts on your timeline, respond to friendship requests but can’t see messages or posts like you.
Option is available here: Settings > General > Memorialisation settings.
20. If hacked?
What will you do if the account is hacked? Report to Facebook that your account has been compromised. The social network will verify your identity and take the necessary steps to recover your account.