There are a lot of things about Facebook to love, but one thing the social networking giant is often criticized for is privacy. Privacy is important. You may want to share your life with a few friends and coworkers, but you almost certainly don’t want to share it with the world. Furthermore, you want to protect your account. If someone hijacks your Facebook account, they can wreak all kinds of social damage on your life in a short period of time.
Here are 10 ways can improve your Facebook account security:
1. Enable HTTPS protocol
By default, Facebook does not encrypt your log in information. That may not present a security threat when you’re at home on a private network, but if you plan on logging into the site at a local coffee shop it becomes a big deal. Enabling HTTPS protocol encrypts your login credentials, making it much harder for someone sharing the same network to grab your info.
Navigate to the
Account Settings page within Facebook by clicking on the small down-arrow in the upper right-hand corner. Select
Security from the menu on the left. Enable Secure Browsing—it should be the first option on the page.
2. Enable login notifications.
When login notifications are enabled, the next time you log into Facebook on each device you own, you will be asked to “name the device”, which will then be added to a list of recognized devices for your account. Additionally, you will be sent an automatic email stating that your account has been accessed. (You will only receive this email the first time you log in from a new device; not each time you log in.) If someone manages to gain access to your account without your consent, the login notification email will serve as an alert. The email even includes instructions for resetting your password to re-secure your account.
On the same page (
Security), enable Login Notifications by selecting Email and Text message.
3. Confirm your mobile number
If your Facebook account gets hacked, normally you can reset your password and get a new one through your email. But what if your email address was hacked as well? Here’s where confirming your mobile number might come to your rescue. Once you link your mobile number to your account, you will be able to receive a new password via SMS.
To add your mobile number, go to
Account Settings >
Mobile and click on
Add a Phone.
4. Enable logon approvals.
Logon approvals are an even higher level of security than logon notifications. With logon approvals turned on, each time you access your account from an unrecognized device (a computer that is not in your list of recognized devices), you will be sent a text message with a numeric code. To finish logging in, enter the code on the login screen. This feature makes it highly unlikely that anyone other than you will be able to access your account.
On the same page as in tips#2, enable
Login Approvals. It’s the third option.
5. Log out remotely to other computers
You’ve just reached home from the office and realized that you forgot to log out of your Facebook account. What’s even more annoying is that you can’t return there on the same day. Do not panic! Facebook allows you to remotely log out from other computers to prevent others abusing your account.
Account Settings >
Active Sessions. You should see a list of devices that you have used to connect your Facebook. Click on
End Activity to log out remotely to these devices.
6. Enable Private browsing
Private browsing is a feature present in almost all major browsers that allows you to protect your online activities from prying eyes. Normally, when you surf the web, your browser remembers every single web page you visit, website credentials, files you’ve downloaded, forms you have filled, etc. Activate Private browsing so that your activity is no longer remembered by your browser.
Firefox and Safari users:
Start Private browsing. Alternatively, you can use the keyboard shortcut Ctrl + Shift + P
From the Chrome toolbar, click on and select
New Incognito Window.
7. Avoid clicking suspicious links
You should avoid clicking on suspicious links even if it’s your friend who sent you the link. There has been reports of worms proliferation via Facebook private message that could get your computer hacked and your online credentials compromised.
8. Do not accept Facebook app blindly
Facebook users tend to accept blindly applications without realizing that they are sharing their confidential information such as their email address, home address or even giving full access to their private inbox! You should read carefully what information you are allowing the app to access. on your profile.
If you have accepted application blindly in the past, you can still deny them access to your private information. Go to
Account Settings >
Apps and click on the small cross to remove them. If you want to review the type of information each application is allowed to access, click on
9. Tweak your Privacy Settings
Most of us have ‘friends’ that are actually total strangers to us. It is better you keep them off from your friend list. If for some reason you can’t delete them, for example if it’s your co-worker, consider unfriending them without actually removing them from your friend list.
By default, Facebook allows anyone to search for you by your name, email address and even your mobile number. It also allows anyone to send you messages or friend requests. You might want to review your privacy settings so that you are not revealing confidential information that could help a hacker gain access to your account by social engineering.
Privacy Settings and click
Edit Settings under
How you connect.
You should also remove your Facebook profile from appearing in Google so that hackers cannot find their way to your Facebook account which is often a common tactics to gather information about someone.
With the recent security breach at Yahoo, a study showed that many people still use their birth date as their password. You might want to review your info page to make sure your birth date, email address and mobile phone number are shared with people you trust only. These little information might actually be pieces of the puzzle to help hackers crack your password. You can do so by clicking on
about from your profile page and click on
Edit next to
Basic info and
10. Don’t use a weak password
You should make your password hard to guess as far as possible. As a rule of thumb, make it at-least eight characters long with a mixture of uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers and symbols.
That’s it! Following these 10 tips will improve your overall Facebook account security and make it almost unhackable. Did I miss out any other security tip? Drop me a comment below. 😉