Security Social Media

Secure Your Facebook With These 6 Simple Tricks

Ben Stegner 24-03-2017

Facebook’s ubiquity makes it dangerous in so many ways. Aside from the threat of picking up malware How to Prevent & Remove Facebook Malware or Virus Facebook malware is a threat, but you don't have to worry about it if you follow this advice. Here's how to avoid the nasty side of Facebook. Read More , the ever-present risk of someone hacking your account Has Your Facebook Been Hacked? How to Tell (And Fix It) Here are steps you can take to prevent being hacked on Facebook, and things you can do in the event your Facebook was hacked. Read More — plus privacy issues from Facebook itself — mean you must be vigilant when using the service.


Thankfully, it only takes a few moments to make sure you’re not at risk for Facebook issues. Here are six easy ways to avoid becoming a victim on Facebook.

1. Browse With an Alternate Mobile App

Facebook’s mobile apps came under fire a few years ago when it started forcing users to use the dedicated Messenger instead of the main Facebook app. People who knew nothing about mobile operating system permissions made a huge fuss over the amount of permissions that Messenger required How Bad Are Those Facebook Messenger Permissions Anyway? You've probably been hearing a lot about Facebook's Messenger app. Let's quell the rumors and find out if the permissions are as bad as they claim. Read More , but didn’t seem to understand that the main Facebook app required all those permissions, too How To Use Facebook On Android Without All The Invasive Permissions Facebook's Android app requires a ton of permissions, and it shouldn't be trusted with them. The Tinfoil app for Facebook is the privacy-conscious solution. Read More .

This is still the case, and if you use Facebook on your mobile device, you’re vulnerable to always being logged in. Both the main FB app and Messenger require permission What Are Android Permissions and Why Should You Care? Do you ever install Android apps without a second thought? Here's all you need to know on Android app permissions, how they've changed, and how it affects you. Read More to your phone’s camera, microphone, location, contacts, and more. They have explanations for them, but the reality is that you’re volunteering a lot of information by using them. Plus, since you’re logged in, the app is running even when you’re not using it.

The safest way to use Facebook on mobile is with an alternative app. These wrap Facebook’s mobile website so that your Facebook usage is contained in one app instead of spread all around your phone — and they don’t require permissions.


On Android, the best one How Facebook Is Ruining Your Android (and What You Can Do) If you care about battery life, performance, or privacy, you're going to want to uninstall the official Facebook app and use one of these alternatives. Read More is the excellent Swipe for Facebook. It includes notifications, themes, and bookmarks. If you’re on iOS, try Friendly for a lighter Facebook experience.

2. Enable Two-Factor Authentication

Two-factor authentication (2FA) is vital for protecting any accounts that are important to you Lock Down These Services Now With Two-Factor Authentication Two-factor authentication is the smart way to protect your online accounts. Let's take a look at few of the services you can lock-down with better security. Read More . In addition to your password (something you know), it requires a code from your phone (something you have) to log in. This means that even if someone steals your password, it’s useless unless they also have your phone How to Use Facebook Two-Factor Authentication and Mobile Code Generator Here's how to set up two-factor authentication on your Facebook account and use the Facebook Code Generator for better security. Read More .

To get started with two-factor authentication, log into Facebook and visit your Security settings page. Click on the Login Approvals to get started with 2FA. Facebook will walk you through the steps here. You can get codes via a text message to your phone, but using an authenticator app is better.

Click third party app in the Code Generator section to add one. You’ll need an authenticator app The 5 Best Alternatives to Google Authenticator Google's two-factor authentication app isn't the only one out there. Here are the best alternatives to Google Authenticator. Read More for this — we recommend Authy because it lets you back up your accounts, and can sync codes across multiple devices. Follow the steps to add Facebook to your authenticator app and you’re all set.


Now, whenever you log in on a new computer, you’ll have to enter your 2FA code after your password. You can check a box to remove this requirement on your home PC for convenience.

Once you’ve enabled 2FA, make sure to print out the Recovery Codes from your settings page. Keep this in a safe place, because they’re the only way back into your account if you lose access to Authy.

3. Use a Password Manager

If there’s only one action you take after reading this list, make it this — keep a secure password for your Facebook account! A weak password can easily be broken into by malicious folks and it’s a mess to recover your account and clean up the damage this causes. Using the same password as other sites or a short password is a bad idea.

To make the burden of creating and remembering a good password lighter, you should use a password manager You Need to Start Using a Password Manager Right Now By now, everyone should be using a password manager. In fact, not using a password manager puts you at greater risk of being hacked! Read More . We think LastPass is your best option, as it’s available free and doesn’t cost a fee for use on mobile devices.


With LastPass, you can automatically generate a secure password 7 Clever Password Manager Superpowers You Have to Start Using Password managers carry a lot of great features, but did you know about these? Here are seven aspects of a password manager you should take advantage of. Read More made up of random numbers, letters, and symbols. You don’t have to remember anything except your master password to unlock the vault, and they’re all kept secure How Password Managers Keep Your Passwords Safe Passwords that are hard to crack are also hard to remember. Want to be safe? You need a password manager. Here's how they work and how they keep you safe. Read More . It’s so much better than reusing “browndog73” as your password everywhere. If you don’t know your 30-character Facebook password, it’s extremely hard for someone to crack it.

4. Log Out and Use a Privacy Browser Extension

Have you ever seen ads on Facebook for the TV you were just checking out on Amazon? That’s because Facebook tracks what you do around the web How Advertisers Use Web Beacons to Track You on the Web and in Emails Have you ever wondered how advertisers track you around the web? There are many methods, but the use of web beacons is one of the more common and effective. Read More , not just on its own website. Everywhere you see a little Like button means that Facebook is running scripts on that page.

Using a wrapper app on your phone prevents Facebook from always running, so why not do the same on the web? For privacy and tracking purposes, you should sign out of Facebook when you’re not using it. Try only visiting Facebook using an incognito window for even more privacy.

If you don’t want to bother with signing out all the time, use a privacy-focused app Google Just Banned This Privacy Tool: How to Use Disconnect Disconnect can shield users against invisible tracking tools, while increasing consumer awareness on surreptitious data-collection methods. It also functions as an anti-malware tool. So why has Google banned it from the Play Store? Read More like Disconnect to disable Facebook’s buttons and tracking around the web. It’s available for Chrome, Firefox, and Safari, and doesn’t require any configuration to use.


5. Check Your Facebook Security Settings

We mentioned that setting up two-factor authentication is important, but there are several other Facebook settings you should monitor, too. Head to your Security Settings page and have a look at these options:

Check the Blocking section to manage people you’ve blocked. If you have a problem with someone sending you invites How to Block Facebook Page Invites and Game Requests Here's how to block annoying invites on Facebook, including page invites, game requests, and more. Read More to some spammy app, entering their name here will take care of it.

The Apps tab contains all the services that you’ve signed into using Facebook. It’s wise to review these once in a while to make sure there’s nothing rogue here.

6. Don’t Forget About Privacy!

While security settings are important for keeping your account safe, you should also review your privacy settings Facebook Photo Privacy Settings You Need To Know About As with everything regarding privacy on Facebook, managing your photos' privacy settings isn't always easy. Read More to ensure that your posts aren’t being seen by unwanted parties.

Head to the Privacy tab of your settings and review these entries:

  • Who can see my stuff? — This sets the default audience for your posts. Choosing Friends makes sense, as Public makes them available to anyone on the internet. The Limit the Audience for Old Posts button will convert all past Public/Friends of Friends posts to Friends.
  • Who can look me up? — Whichever option you choose here affects who can search for you using your email address and phone number. You can also uncheck Allow search engines outside of Facebook to link to your profile if you don’t want Google to link to your profile.

Check your Timeline and Tagging settings to adjust what people can post about you:

  • Change Who can post on your Timeline? to Only me if you get lots of unwanted posts. For a less drastic measure, enable Review posts friends tag you in… to require your approval for Timeline posts.
  • Under Who can see things on my timeline?, click View As to see what your profile looks like to the internet at large, or a specific person on Facebook. Use the below two options to change what others can see on your Timeline.
  • Set Who sees tag suggestions when photos that look like you are updated? to No One so Facebook doesn’t suggest that friends tag you in photos.

Finally, review the Ads tab to opt out of personalized advertisements. Set the top two options to No to remove interest-based ads and choose No One for Who can see your social actions paired with ads? so Facebook doesn’t use your likes to show ads to your friends.

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A Secure Facebook Account Is Achievable

You don’t have to worry about Facebook security when you apply these tips. There are risks that come with using the platform, but several built-in, and third-party tools make it easier to mitigate them. It’s a certainty that most hacked Facebook accounts didn’t take the time to follow this advice.

Now that your account is secure, make sure you know how to spot Facebook hoaxes The Essential Steps To Identify & Avoid Facebook Hoaxes Everyone has been caught out at some point by Facebook scams. But just how dangerous can they be, really? We've listed some of the most common Facebook hoaxes to be aware of and avoid. Read More . And if you want the utmost security, the best solution is to completely stop using Facebook before it consumes your life 11 Ways Facebook Messenger Will Soon Rule Your Life You might be put off by all of the features Facebook Messenger has, but you have to admit that this big boy is going places. Read More .

Which vital security tips would you share with all Facebook users? Please share your security stories and tips with us in the comments!

Related topics: Facebook, Password Manager, Two-Factor Authentication.

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