Facebook contains too much data about you and yours. Users share information related to their biography, occupation, date of birth, phone numbers, etc, in their profiles. This info, if hacked and passed into the wrong hands, can lead to identity theft. Among other information that users share on social networking sites are images and videos that contain images of your near and dear. You won’t want any harm to come to you or your near and dears. This is why we stress the need to secure your Facebook account properly. This article talks about the new initiative by the social networking site to secure your Facebook account.
Facebook Security Checkup
Facebook says it is concerned with the security of your account and hence started an initiative to protect your account from being hacked or misused by others. The initiative is reviewing your information, such as devices you are logged in from, and setting up alerts when someone or you login from a different device or geographical location.
Needless to say, Facebook knows where you live (even if you lie in the profile) and blocks login if you try to log in from a different place or when you use a proxy instead of logging in directly.
Log out of unused devices logged in Facebook
The first step of the Facebook account protection provided is reviewing all devices that are logged into your Facebook account. It gives you a dialog similar to the image below and allows you to review all the devices and locations. You can remove all of them and choose to login again or keep your most recent session the remove others if you are sure you will not be using those devices again.
It won’t be a problem if you remove all devices and then try to login using one of the removed devices. At most, Facebook will block the attempt to login and send you an SMS or email informing you of the login attempt. If you authorize the login, you can access your account from that device again.
Enable Login Alerts
The second step in Facebook wizard to protect your Facebook account is to set up alerts for login. This way, Facebook will ensure you get an alert when a suspicious login attempt is detected. In most cases, it could be you using another device then you normally use – such as using the Facebook app from a different phone. If you start using a proxy, then too, you will be notified, and the login attempt will be blocked until you authorize the proxy location. It’s the same case with new devices too.
IMPORTANT: Make sure you have given an email ID and/or phone number to Facebook before you enable Facebook Alerts because if you don’t, you will lose your account forever. Facebook sends you a code or something that you might have to enter before you can login using a new device or when logging in from a new location (physically or through a proxy). You can still get access to your Facebook account if you fail to provide your email and/or phone number, but the process will be tedious as you will be asked to send certain documents that will validate your identity before Facebook allows you access to your account.
Set up a strong password
The third step that Facebook recommends is to set up a strong password. Most Facebook users create passwords that can easily be guessed. One of my uncles has his occupation as his password. Things like that are very dangerous because Facebook has all data that can lead to identity theft if the account is hacked.
A 10-character password is sufficient, provided you use both cases of the alphabet, some numbers and a few special characters in the password. Do not use P@$$w0rd as it too is easily hackable. Think of something better. I would suggest using a cloud-based password manager so that you can generate tough passwords without needing to remember them. Password apps or browser extensions can perform the login process for you. If interested, check out the list of free password managers.
After you complete these steps, you are sent to General Security Settings by Facebook to tweak further. Here, you can create codes for login when on new devices or when logging in from new locations. You can also select three of your Facebook friends whom you can call when your login attempt is blocked by Facebook for security. These friends can generate codes for you to help you access your account. I recommend setting up contacts to call when blocked so you do not lose access to your account.
Link to access Facebook Security Initiative: facebook.com/help/securitycheckup.
Please remember that security is different from privacy. To get optimal privacy, read our post on the best Facebook privacy settings.