How to Prevent Hackers From Taking Over Your Facebook Account

Prevent Facebook HackersIf you’re using Facebook or any other online platform, you can be a potential target for hackers. Everyone is at risk including web experts, just read what happened to Danny Brown (well-known blogger and VP at Jugnoo, Inc.) who was the victim of malicious hackers on his Facebook account on July 14th.

Fortunately, there are steps you can take to protect your Facebook account from hackers. Here are some security settings Facebook has available to help you keep your account safe.

Facebook Security Settings

All these settings can be found by clicking on your Facebook “Account Settings” and then click “Security” in the left column.

Secure Browsing

Why use it:
• If you frequently use Facebook from unsecured public networks such as those in hotels, airports or cafes, consider enabling Facebook secure browsing, or HTTPS.

What it does:
• This setting encrypts the information you send and receive.

How to use it:
• Under Security Settings, look for “Secure Browsing” and simply check the box that says “Browse Facebook on a secure connection (https) when possible”.

Remember:
Encrypted pages take longer to load, so you may notice that Facebook is slower using HTTPS.

Login Notifications

Why use it:
• Find out immediately when someone accesses your account from an unauthorized device.

What it does:
• Facebook will notify you via email or text message when your account is accessed from a computer or mobile device that you haven’t used before.

How to use it:
• Turn on Login Notifications by choosing the notification method: email and/or text message notification. Note that if you want to receive text message alerts, you’ll need to add a mobile number to your account.
• You’ll be asked to name your computer or mobile phone next time you log in.
• If you ever receive a Login Notification from an unfamiliar device or location, follow the instructions in the notification to reset your password and secure your account.

Remember:
• Don’t select the option to save your device if you’re using a public computer. You can see your list of authorized devices under “Recognized Devices”.

Login Approvals

Why use it:
• This is an added security feature which requires a two factor authentication system. If someone else knows your login credentials, they will be unable to access your account and cause any harm.

What it does:
• Facebook will text you a special code to your registered mobile which you’ll then be asked to enter each time you try to access your Facebook account from a new device. After you log in, you’ll have the option to give that device a name and save it to your account. You won’t have to enter a code when you log into any of these recognized devices unless you’ve turned on private browsing or set up your browser to clear your history every time it closes (in this case, you’ll have to enter a code every time you log in).

How to use it:
• To turn on Login Approvals, go to your Account Settings and click on Security in the left column. Then simply click on “Login Approvals” and check the box and save your changes.

Note:

  • You have to have a mobile phone number listed on your account to turn on login approvals. Follow the steps provided when you check the box to turn on login approvals.
  • Do not click the “Save this device” option if you’re using a computer that other people use (ex: a library computer).

Warning:
Hugh Briss from Social Identities made a good point in one of his posts; “if you ever change your mobile number or for whatever reason no longer can’t receive an SMS message sent to the mobile phone number in your account, you won’t be able to login to Facebook.”

You have to consider the potential problems this feature may cause if you have issues with your phone. If you can’t access your phone, you will need to log in to your account from a computer or phone that you’ve already linked to your Facebook account (as long as you have done that already).

Active Sessions

Why use it:
• Use it to see any active sessions and remotely logout to close any Facebook session that you may have left active on any computer or device, such as one at a cafe or your friend’s house.

What it does:
• It shows you a list of the recent times your Facebook account has been accessed. Each entry includes the date, time and approximate location when signing in, and the type of device used to access your account. The location you see is based off of the IP address used to access your account.

How to use it:
• Under your Security settings, click on “Active Sessions” and “Edit”. From there click on “End Activity” to logout.

Some additional tips:

• Make sure your passwords are difficult to guess and try changing it once in a while.
• Don’t share or post personal information on social networks such as your full date of birth, address or personal phone numbers.
• Use a good antivirus software, update and run it regularly.
• If something looks fishy, trust your instincts and avoid clicking on any links.
• If you suspect that your account has been hacked, change your password immediately.
• Watch for emails that ask you to provide personal details such as passwords or bank accounts.
• Don’t share private and personal information when using public Wi-Fi.

Although these security settings don’t guarantee that your Facebook account will never be hacked, it will make it difficult and discourage most hackers from picking you as their next target.

This information can be found at Facebook.com (learn more by visiting the help section).

Have you ever been the victim of hackers or know someone who has been hacked?

Image source:  Windell Oskay via Compfight

Genevieve Lachance is a web marketing consultant who has a passion for social media and technology based in Montreal, Canada. Read More About Me »