While it is impossible to guarantee your Facebook account won’t be hacked you can take some steps to decrease the likelihood of some unscrupulous person gaining access to your account. Facebook is approaching 1 Billion users and as such a lot of information is available through Facebook. You may unwittingly post just enough information for someone to steal your identity, or someone may post on your behalf after gaining access to your account. This post may cause embarrassment, job loss or even legal action.
Here are some tips to help prevent the stress that can come with unauthorized access to your account
- Stating the obvious: You really should not share your password to any account with anyone. Today you may be on good terms but tomorrow you may not be. It’s sad to say but you just never know what people are capable of, especially if they are feeling as though they have been screwed.
- Don’t reuse passwords: You should never the same password for multiple sites. Reusing a password repeatedly increases the likelihood that someone else will be able to steal your password. There are utilities available that will store and generate passwords for you if you are someone who struggles with the number of passwords you have to remember. One such utility is Keepass. Using Keepass you can generate passwords for everything that requires one. You only have to set a password for Keepass. Everything else is stored in the Keepass database.
- Use complex passwords: If you are not using a password generator then use passwords that are a combination of letters (upper and lowercase), numbers and symbols. Do not use common words, birthdays or names. There are tools available that make cracking passwords made up of dictionary words or names very easy.
- Turn on https: If you are using http (which is the default setting for Facebook) you are vulnerable to being hacked. Apps that are readily available for Android devices and computers can gain access to your Facebook account in just a few minutes if they are on the same wireless network as you.
- If it’s too good to be true, it probably is: If you notice numerous likes for an image, an odd news story of something that seems a little far-fetched it probably is. Clickjacking is rapidly becoming a form of tricking users into revealing personal information about themselves including passwords and other private data. Think before you click.
- Turn on log in notification: Facebook has a feature similar to Gmail that sends you a notification whenever someone (hopefully you) logs into your account. Upon successful log in you receive a text message notifying you of the log in. The text message includes instructions on what to do if it was not you that logged in.
- Turn on Login Approvals: You can also set Facebook up to require approval of a log in. When someone (hopefully you) attempts to log in a text message with a verification code is sent to you. The person attempting to log in has to enter the verification code in order to continue.
- Check to see active sessions: Check the active sessions for activity that looks suspicious. If you take a look and notice log ins from countries other than the one you live in your account has been compromised and you should change your password immediately. Be careful though. If you use Facebook mobile the activity may not show up locally because the IP address is not provided by your ISP.
- All of these settings (and some others) can be managed by clicking on the upside down triangle next to home then going to Account Settings>Security.
Until next post… safe browsing!