7 Key Facebook Safety Tips

Facebook marked National Cyber Security Awareness Month with a seven-step plan for how its users can ensure their safety on the social network.

Facebook marked National Cyber Security Awareness Month with a seven-step plan for how its users can ensure their safety on the social network.

The seven steps were described in an email to SocialTimes:

1) Do a Privacy Checkup

Privacy Checkup walks you through three quick steps to help make sure only the people you want can see your stuff. You can review who you’re posting to, which applications you’re using and the privacy of key pieces of information on your profile.

The Privacy Checkup is always available via your privacy shortcuts on desktop (just click on the lock in the upper-right-hand corner of your screen).

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2) Do a Security Checkup

Recently, we launched Security Checkup worldwide on desktop (mobile version is coming). Learning from the success of Privacy Checkup, we created a similar tool to help people quickly and easily access some of the security controls available for their accounts. These controls can still be accessed at any time in security settings. Using Security Checkup, you can take actions like:

  • Log out of unused devices: easily log out log out of devices you haven’t used in a while or forgot about, so you’re only logged into Facebook on the devices and browsers you approve.
  • Login alerts: If you turn on this feature, Facebook will send you a notification or email alert if someone tries to log into your account from an unfamiliar device or browser.
  • Using strong and unique passwords: The strength of your password is more important than how often you change it. Don’t use your Facebook password anywhere else online and never share it with anyone.

Sometime over the next few weeks, you’ll see a reminder at the top of your News Feed. Click “Get Started” and follow the prompts through three easy steps.

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3) Turn on Login Approval

If people are only going to make one change to maximum security for their account, this is it. Commonly known as two-factor authentication (2FA), login approvals provide an extra security step whenever you login from a new device. Facebook will send a notification or email with a special code to complete the login process.

To turn on login approvals, go to “More” and tap “Settings.” From there, select security settings and check the box next to “Login Approvals.”

4) Set your trusted contacts

Trusted contacts are friends you can reach out to if you ever need help getting into your Facebook account (e.g., you forget your Facebook password and can’t get into your email account to reset it). The next time you can’t get into your account, your trusted contacts will receive special, one-time security codes from Facebook. You can then call your friends to get the security codes and together, those codes will help restore access to your account.

Go to your security settings, click “Trusted Contacts” and select three to five friends whom you know you can turn to in a bind.

5) Control what information you’re sharing with apps via Facebook Login

Ever logged into an app using your Facebook account? Most likely, you have. More than 80 percent of the top 100 grossing apps have Facebook Login, including some of your favorites like Airbnb, Etsy, Nike+ Running and more. When you log in, there’s now a quick and easy way to control what information you’re providing to the app (such as your likes, photos, birthday, hometown, etc.). This is a completely new and redesigned control screen that we first announced last year, and just a few months ago, it finished rolling out in all apps that have Facebook Login.

When you’re logging into an app using Facebook Login, just click, “Edit the Info You Provide.” This will bring you to a list of all of the personal information the app is requesting from you. You can check or uncheck each piece of information, line by line, to control what you share with the app. Plus, you don’t have to be afraid that the app will post on your Timeline without your consent—with Facebook Login, you choose whether to let the app post on your behalf.

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6) Double-check the apps connected to your Facebook account

If you use Facebook Login to log into apps with your Facebook account, it’s a good idea to periodically review the apps you have connected to your account. This helps ensure that you’re only connecting your Facebook account to apps that you trust and use regularly.

Simply visit your app settings page on Facebook to review all of the apps that you’ve connected to your account. You might find some that you don’t really use anymore—and you can easily disconnect these apps from accessing your Facebook account using the controls on the app settings page.


7) Get to know your activity log

If you’re constantly paranoid that you posted or liked something accidentally, this will set your mind at ease. Your activity log includes all of your Facebook activities, organized by the date they happened. This could include posts you’ve liked, posts you’ve commented on, friend requests you’ve accepted, check-ins or photos you’ve been tagged in, etc. Only you can see your activity log. For example, you can use activity log to see which friends’ posts you liked over the past month or to go back and change the audience of a post you made in the past. It’s a good idea to check in on your activity log regularly.

Visit your profile and click “View Activity Log” in the bottom-right corner of your cover photo.

Readers: How many of these safety tips have you followed?

david.cohen@adweek.com David Cohen is editor of Adweek's Social Pro Daily.