How To Check If Someone Else Is Accessing Your Facebook Account

2011 02 03 1804   How To Check If Someone Else Is Accessing Your Facebook AccountWhat’s the number one issue people have with Facebook? That’s right, privacy. Ever since there’s been a Facebook, people have been voicing their privacy concerns about it, and we’ve been there every step of the way. Over the past year, we’ve given you 16 steps (8 here, 8 there) to regain control of your Facebook privacy, taught you how to secure your settings, given you tips to protect your privacy, introduced you to apps like PrivacyDefender, and shown you how to tweak your Facebook Places security settings. And after all that, we finally broke down and wrote an Unofficial Facebook Privacy Guide.

So what’s the problem now? Nothing, technically. In fact, Facebook has recently given us a way to see if someone else has been accessing our Facebook accounts (without our permission). Is that something you’d be interested in? Follow me.

What Does This Mean For Me?

Have you ever suspected that someone else was logging into your Facebook account? It’s not a good feeling, mostly because it would drive you crazy if you were unable to prove it. Whether you have an easy password to guess (like the word “password”) or you accidentally left your login information saved on a public computer somewhere, it would be reassuring to be able to check whether or not anyone has been signing in under your name.

Sure, you could always change your password, but lets face it, you aren’t going to do that unless you absolutely have to – unless your password really is the word “password”, in which you should change it immediately (I’m serious). I don’t blame you, but there has to be another way of uncovering suspicious activity on your account.

The feature I’m about to show you is a nice little security setting built into Facebook that will help you quickly detect if anybody else has been secretly logging into and using your Facebook account.

Where Are These Security Features?

2011 02 03 1748   How To Check If Someone Else Is Accessing Your Facebook AccountTo get to the security settings I’ve been alluding to, log into your Facebook account and click on Account at the top right of the page. When the drop-down box appears, click on Account Settings.

There’s a good chance you know exactly where I’m taking you, but your settings should look a little different this time since the last time you’ve visited.

On your My Account page, scroll down to where it says Account Security and click the change link.

Now you should see a list of all computers (and mobile devices) that have logged into your Facebook account, their location, and when this happened. Rather than an IP address, it displays the approximate geographic location of the device, which is based on the device’s IP.

2011 02 03 1756   How To Check If Someone Else Is Accessing Your Facebook Account

If you come across an unknown or suspicious device in your list, just click “end activity” on the device and you will automatically be logged out of that machine.

2011 02 03 1757   How To Check If Someone Else Is Accessing Your Facebook Account

Also, if you would like to add an extra layer of protection on your account, you can enable email/SMS alerts for when someone else tries to log into your account from a previously unknown computer or mobile phone. Features like one-time passwords and secure browsing using the HTTPS protocol are also at your disposal.

Would you like to see all of these advanced security features in action? Check out this YouTube video if you’re seeking further explanation:

Conclusion

I think this is a pretty solid move by Facebook. If you didn’t know these security features were there you may be pleased to find the added level of security that’s there for you to enable. One interesting aspect of this is what you do if you confirm a suspicious machine has been logging into your account and you think it’s someone you know? I’ll leave the creativity up to you, but you could theoretically let it slide, enable alerts, and then catch them in the act the next time it happens. Or something like that.

What do you think of Facebook’s privacy features?

The comments were closed because the article is more than 180 days old.

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18 Comments -

Domski’s World

Another quality article from MUO. Yet more great advice, written in an easy to follow, concise and friendly way. Many thanks, I shall spread the word!

Steve Campbell

Thanks a lot! Glad you liked the article. :)

Aibek

thanks for the kind words!

Skearley

Just stumbled upon MUO a couple of days ago, and I am thrilled to have found the site. I learn something new most each time MUO appears in my Facebook news feed. Thanks!

Aibek

We publish about 10 articles daily. Stay tuned!

Jack Riddle

Saw a suspicious access from hundreds of miles away with “Safari on MacOSX.” After a few minutes of contemplating this, I had a hunch and tested. Sure enough, that entry was generated by my Android 2.2 phone. On the next access it showed up somewhere else, still hundreds of miles away and still as “Safari on MacOSX.”

I understand it is new, but seems it could use a bit of improvement in device/browser detection.

Jack Riddle

Saw a suspicious access from hundreds of miles away with “Safari on MacOSX.” After a few minutes of contemplating this, I had a hunch and tested. Sure enough, that entry was generated by my Android 2.2 phone. On the next access it showed up somewhere else, still hundreds of miles away and still as “Safari on MacOSX.”

I understand it is new, but seems it could use a bit of improvement in device/browser detection.

Nre

its true, that happens on mobile devices too. the location will some far place the device has never been to.

Jeyar_25

i’ll share this info in my FB friends…Thanks MUOF….

Melo

I am SO glad that this added security feature has been incorporated into our personal account settings. I recently heard that somebody had been accessing a relatives account through their BB. They can no longer deny it because it will show on the account settings. Thank you for having this information and also a detailed walk through of how to enhance security settings :)

Steve Campbell

You’re welcome! Glad it was helpful.

Michelle Starek

very valuable information!!! i just find out that someone was accessing my facebook too!!! i decided to share this with my friends. Thanks for all:)

billy

i meant also active not recent

so for eample if someone (in my town) went onto my facebook on thursday on a different computer would it show up that they had been on my facebook?

billy

Where it says recent activity, what is classed as recent as i think someone was on my facebook on wednesday or thursday?

billy

i meant also active not recent

so for eample if someone (in my town) went onto my facebook on thursday on a different computer would it show up that they had been on my facebook?

Steve Campbell

I think it would show up, Billy. Facebook shows the most recent activity, so if your account was accessed from a different computer it should show up in the list.

holly

But how do you stop someone from signing in permanently? I’ve changed my password several times and they still keep signign in. I was thinking my computer must have a spy virus on it (even though I have anti-virus software) but a friend suggested maybe it was just a glitch since this is new from facebook…?? What are your thoguhts?

Steve Campbell

Changing your password should be enough, provided it isn’t easy to guess. Perhaps you should also change your email’s password, as this person could be clicking on the “forgot password” link and then checking your email to see what you changed it to.