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As of May 8th, 2017 there are 1.94 billion active Facebook users. That’s a lot of people with a lot of information to try and keep secure! While there are many ways to keep your information private built into your security and privacy settings, you also need to be your own human firewall in order to prevent yourself from being exploited. It isn’t just your friends and family who use Facebook; it’s billions of people from all over the world!

 

1. Turn on Login Alerts

It’s easy to find out if anyone else from anywhere else attempts to access your account. Turning on your login alerts will notify you when someone tries to log into your account, including on the device used and where they are located. Once alerted, you can tell Facebook if it was just you accessing your own account or – if it wasn’t – you can follow the prompt and reset your password. It’s a nice and simple way to assure that no one else will be in your account for very long.

Under your Settings find Security and Login. Halfway through the page you’ll see Get alerts about unrecognized logins; go ahead and click Edit. Make sure that Get notifications is checked. If you would like these notifications to be sent to your email in addition to the Facebook notification, make sure Email login alerts is also checked!

 

2. Clean out your Friends

You won’t believe how good it feels to go from 800 to 500 friends on Facebook. Yes, the idea of going through hundreds, maybe thousands, of profiles and deciding whether to “unfriend” or not seems daunting, but a clean Friends List is a safe one! Now you will know exactly who can see your “Friends Only” information on your profile. Once your Friends List is all clear, remain picky when accepting and sending Friend Requests. If you suspect a profile is fake, it probably is!

Bonus: Now your News Feed won’t be as cluttered with irrelevant posts and you can more easily keep up with the people closest to you!

 

3. Remove Unwanted Third Party Apps

You may not even realize how many apps you have connected to your Facebook account. Luckily, it’s easy to go through them and remove any that you don’t want to have access to your information!

Under Settings go to the Apps tab. Now just “X” out of the ones you don’t use anymore! If there are any that you don’t recognize immediately, don’t take the risk and ignore it; go ahead and delete it as well. You never know what kind of information it might be getting from your profile.

Whenever you are prompted to allow a third party app access to any social account, think twice! In the past Facebook has seen their share of malicious apps. These dangerous apps won’t just affect you, but your Facebook friends as well.

 

5. Avoid Phishing Attacks

You might already know to watch out for phishing attacks in your email inbox, but you also need to be aware of them on Facebook Messenger. Make sure you always report messages with misspellings, mismatched links, and messages asking for your account information. Avoid messages saying you have attached your password: Facebook will never send you your password as an attachment.

Sometimes you may even receive spam from one of your Facebook friends. This means their account information has probably been phished or compromised by a virus. Again, report, and let your friend know immediately!

If you do receive any phishy Facebook emails or messages report them to directly by emailing Facebook at phish@fb.com.

 

4. Regularly Run Security Checkups

Have you been rolling your eyes at each one of our suggestions? Think it’s going to take up too much of your time to keep your account secure? Well if you’re feeling lazy, but are still concerned about your information’s safety, a Facebook Security Checkup will help speed things up. This checkup gives you the opportunity to logout of unused apps and browsers, prompts you to turn on your Login Alerts, and gives you tips for a stronger password with a prompt to change your current one. Just one click of a button and three great security measures are at your fingertips!

 

Keeping your Facebook account clean and secure is imperative. Keep in mind whenever anyone is trying to find out information on you, Facebook is probably their first resource. More is less when it comes to sharing about yourself on Social Media. Know what your privacy settings are so that your private information stays private!

 

Meg Krafft

Digital Marketing Assistant at The Security Awareness Company
After starting out creating digital and print marketing for a real estate company, Meg now assists in keeping up the marketing needs for SAC. When not working she's probably watching a good movie or indulging in local art and music.