Protect Your Facebook Account From Hackers
What would happen if your Facebook account was hacked?
If someone were to gain access to your account, they could hijack your online identity, posting updates and sending messages to your friends. They could read your messages and other private communication, or change your privacy settings. They could even potentially change your password, locking you out of your own account and leaving you feeling violated and exposed.
With so much invested in our Facebook identities, it’s very important to keep them safe. Here are a few tactics you can use to ensure your Facebook account is only available to you.
Receive a Text Message or Email Alert Whenever Someone Tries to Access Your Account From a New Device
If you’re at your computer and you’ve just logged into your account, you wouldn’t be surprised to receive a text message letting you know your account has been accessed.
But if you’re not at your computer and you get the same message, that’s an early warning that your Facebook account may be compromised. This is a great feature to have enabled since it’ll warn you at the first sign of trouble.
You can activate login notifications as follows:
- Click on the "Account" drop down in the top, right-hand corner of your screen and choose "Account Settings"
- Click over to the "Security" tab
- Click the "Login Notifications" area and check the "Text Message" and "Email" boxes
Note: You will need to connect your phone with your Facebook account if you haven’t already.
Once this is activated, you will be prompted to name any new devices that you use to login to your account. You can name your devices things like “Work Computer” or “Home Laptop” to help you remember which device is which.
You’ll see a list of “Active Sessions” that shows which devices are currently logged into your account, as well as where those devices are located geographically. If you see anything fishy in that list, you can simply click “End Activity” to log that device out of your account.
Require More than a Password To Login
If you’re going to connect your Facebook account to your phone (which you should, for the security benefits), you should also setup login approvals for unrecognized devices. This provides an extra, rock-solid layer of protection for your account whenever new devices try to login.
You will receive a text message with a verification code that must be entered whenever an unrecognized device attempts to access your account. This will stop any hacker dead in their tracks since they won’t be able to get in, even if they have your password – they’d need your phone too!
This can be enabled by checking the box next to “Login Approvals” on the Security tab in your Facebook account settings.
Activate Secure Browsing
Secure browsing is an option that you can activate on your account that forces Facebook to use secure HTTPS connections whenever you’re using the site.
If you ever check your account when you’re on a public network like your office, airports, or free public wifi, it’s possible for other people on that network to intercept your communication, see what you’re viewing and gain access to your account.
You can force Facebook to use an HTTPS connection for your account by visiting the “Security” tab in the “Account Settings” area, as mentioned above.
The first option that you can edit is “Secure Browsing” and you should make sure this box is checked.
Beware of Phishing Sites
The most common way that accounts are hacked is when a Facebook user inadvertently enters their login information into a site that looks like Facebook, but is actually an imposter website. This phony site then stores your credentials and uses them to gain access to your account.
Facebook lets you stay logged in for extended periods of time, so you don’t have to login frequently. Whenever you are presented with a login screen, you should be a little skeptical.
Did you clear your cookies recently? Change browsers? Restart your computer? If you don’t remember logging out of the service and you’re presented with a Facebook login screen, you should always check the URL bar in your browser to make sure you’re actually at facebook.com.
If you secure your account and practice safe browsing habits, you should be able to keep your Facebook account safely protected from hackers, spammers and other intruders.
Check out the Facebook Security page for more tips.