Facebook is by far the most used social media site on the Internet with over two billion active users. This popularity has led to a recent tidal wave of spam and scams in the form of posts, apps, messages, and more. Be sure to follow these five security tips to ensure your Facebook experience is a safe one.
1. Be cautious when linking apps to your account.
When you connect a third-party app like Candy Crush or Farmville to your Facebook account, you giving the app access to certain details shared on your profile. This typically includes your full name, location, email address, and phone number. Researchers have found that mobile games and educational apps are the two app categories that mine the most of your personal data. To combat this, the Better Business Bureau and the National Cyber Security Alliance advise users to regularly go through their apps and delete the ones they don’t use. Be sure to heed their advice to keep your information safe.
2. Lock down private information on your profile.
One of the best ways to keep your personal data safe is to adjust your Facebook privacy settings so that only your friends can see your information, pictures, and posts. It’s tempting to make your profile public, especially after all the work you put in to make it perfect. Unfortunately, it’s safer to keep everything as private as possible, including your contact information, work and educational history, and photo albums.
3. Don’t use Facebook to log onto other sites around the web.
Social logins are incredibly common these days, but don’t let their ubiquity and convenience fool you. The majority of sites and apps that adopt this feature are aiming to collect your information, whether it’s your Calendar app data or your contacts’ phone numbers. Taking the time to create a fresh account on a new site can be a hassle, but it’s worth it to protect your privacy from potential bad actors.
4. Block strangers who contact you via Messenger.
It may seem like common sense, but Messenger scams are one of the main ways that hackers access their victims. Sometimes they even pose as friends or relatives of the person they’re targeting. Be wary if you receive a suspicious message that requests money or information. In the same vein, it’s important to delete friend requests that you don’t recognize or aren’t expecting. Remember, it’s better to be safe than sorry.
5. Keep an eye out for malware.
Malicious software, known as malware, is often hidden in posts containing links to supposed coupons, free airline tickets, or even shocking videos of celebrities. Once you click the link, the site automatically downloads a virus onto your computer. This virus logs your keystrokes and collects what you type. Hackers can then collect your passwords, credit card numbers, and other sensitive information. To prevent this, avoid clicking links that appear suspect and remember that if an offer seems too good to be true, it likely is.
How do you protect your privacy on Facebook? Let us know in the comments below or on Twitter!