1 July 2012

Facebook Security Settings

Today social networking sites became a part of our daily life. Facebook is one of the most famous and popular social networking website with 900 million active users. We share our thoughts, personal pictures and exchange messages with our friends on the Facebook. We may even share our personal information with our friends like phone number, home address, date of birth and the place we work.
Since Facebook launched in February 2004, it turned into a very good place for hackers, companies who want to sell their products and even governments. Let me give you some examples:

Every day we are seeing hackers from all around the world try to hack Facebook users’ account to use their account for their own dirty works or find out their private info like date of birth, their location, interest etc. and then sell this information to the companies who then will send them lots of spam emails or messages and asking to buy their products.

Governments with political issues can check what is users political view or religion. What are they sharing with their friends? Are them belonging to special community or group? Which kind of website they are visiting?

So tracking your steps in sites like Facebook is very important. Try to check your privacy settings often (for your own good). Here are some steps that you can use to secure your account more:

1. Account Settings

i. SSL Encryption

SSL Encryption is a protocol for encrypting information over the internet. If you usually use public places like cyber coffee or office, so it is better to enable this feature. For this log in to your Facebook account then go to the Account Settings page and from the left panel select Security. Check if the Secure Browsing option is enabled or not? If not, click on the Edit button to enable it.

Note: to navigate to your Account Settings or Privacy Settings, click on the upside down small triangle beside the Home link on the top of the page and from the drop down menu, select your settings.

ii. Login Notification

By enabling this setting if you or someone else then you log in to your account from another computer/device, Facebook will send you an email notification to your email or text message to your mobile. To enable it, again go to Account Settings>Security>Login Notification

iii. App Passwords

If you generate an Application Password, you can log in to your apps without using your actual Facebook pass. The password you are generating only works for once and for a limit of time. If you log in to your account from a public place or not sure about the computer or device safety that you are using, then you can generate an app password that’s one-time password and keep your original account pass safe.

2. Privacy Settings

In the Privacy Settings page you can manage your privacy and what you share with others. Whenever you update your status or share something with your friends, check who can see them.  Facebook provided you three options:

Public (everyone can see your share)

Friends (only friends can see your share)

Custom (you can choose only the people that you want to see your share)

i. How You Connect

In this section you can control who is able to view your email address, phone number and personal information. Who can send you friend request or personal messages? It’s better not sharing your private info with everyone as the hacker can use them to find more information about you.

ii. Timeline and Tagging

Tagging you in pictures over and over again sometimes is very annoying. Fortunately Facebook offers you full control of who can tag you, or see tagging pictures on your timeline. In this section you can also manage that who has permission to post on your Timeline.

A great feature you can set here is to review the posts and tags before they appear on your timeline.

iii. Ads, Apps, Games and Websites

Whenever you approved an application, it has access to your private info and friend list. Be careful when you accept an application or events. A number of hackers use applications to hack the users’ accounts. You can add or remove application here and modify how they can access your account and who can see posts an individual app makes for you on Facebook timeline. 

a. Apps you use

To remove or change the setting of an application click on Edit Setting in front of Apps you use. Then in the next page select Edit option to manage an app setting or remove it from your account.

b. How people bring your info to apps they use 

it means information that your friends can share about you when they use apps. Beware even if you don’t use the apps they still can access your info like Bio, DOB, friends list and so on. So you can choose which kind of info your friends’ apps can access.

c. Instant Personalization

Facebook website partners can personalize their site according to your public info. Like which kind of movie or music your friends liked or watched when you enter their site. For more information and a list of Facebook partner sites go to the link below:

You can block this option simply by uncheck the box before the Enable instant personalization on partner websites

d. Public search

If you enable the Public search then your Facebook account will be visible to engine searches like Google. You can also see a preview of your account look when it access from the engine searches.

e. Ads

The last section of Ads, Apps, Games and Websites is setting for third-party and social ads.

You can manage who can see your related action with an advertise, either your friends or no one.

iv. Limit the Audience for Past Posts

It is the Facebook new feature that allows you to limit who can view what you posted before and now you change your mind and want to change the audience. Learn more about this feature here:

v. Block People and Apps

You can make a Restricted list of your friends and anyone who is belong to this list will able to see your public post only. They will not notify when you add them to this list. Also you can block users, apps and events simply by entering their name in this section.

These were all the security settings you need to know on Facebook. Be safe and secure and happy social networking!