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How to Secure Your Facebook Profile




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Having over 500million active users, facebook has become an important part of its users daily lifestyles. People use facebook to connect and communicate with each other and to express their ideas about various things & to share their feelings & emotions when they are in a happy or in a sad mood and specially teenagers use facebook just to have some fun and to get rid of the stress they face while they are on their studies. According to latest researches, users spend 16 billion minutes on Facebook each day & facebook receives nearly 3 billion photo uploads per month, through direct uploads and through applications and games on facebook. Unfortunately most facebook users don't know the implication of entering personal information on their profiles, applications they use and on the games they play on facebook.

Here we have listed a set of guidelines to follow if you wan't to stay secure, on facebook. If you follow these steps we can assure that you and your profile is secured on facebook and your profile is not a threat to your facebook friends.

 

Go to your Profile, click on the Account tab and click on the Privacy Settings link there. And you will be re-directed to "My Account" page to adjust your profile settings.

This page(My Account) has several options and can be used to change your Account Name, Password, E-mail Address, Linked Accounts, Privacy, Account Security, to Download Your Account Information & to the option to deactivate your account.

In this article we are going to talk about the option of "Account Security" & about the way that it can be used for you to stay secure on facebook. 

Click "Change" in front of "Account Security" as shown in the picture below.

 




Then you will see few options as shown in the picture below. Lets talk about points individually.
First have a look at what options available in the "Accounts Security" Category.




Now lets talk about these points one by one !!!

1. Secure Browsing : Usually when we log in to facebook our browser address bar looks like this, "http://www.facebook.com". This means you are browsing facebook in a normal insecure connection. Note that when you are in this type of connections there is a huge possibility for you to get hacked or become a victim of cyber phishing efforts. So, as facebook and many other well known websites recommends, using "https://www.facebook.com" will help you to stay secure online and to protect your private data not only in your facebook profile but also in your personal computer as "https://" blocks almost all types of cyber attacks including scam & phishing. When this option is active your browser address bar will look as you see beneath in the picture



2. Login Notifications :  To activate this option you need to verify your facebook account through your mobile first if you wish to receive login notifications as mobile texts.

But before verifying your mobile there are few adjustments that you should do on your Privacy Settings as your Privacy Settings decides weather your phone number is visible to everyone or not.

This step is a must as one mistake on a private connection options such as a mobile phone contact can lead you to million problems and may be even towards a threat to your life.

So first click on "Account" tab and then "Privacy Settings" Then comes "Choose Your Privacy Settings" page. There you have two options. 1: Connecting on Facebook & 2: Sharing on Facebook. On the 2nd option click on Customize Settings Like you see below.




When you click "Customize Settings", your settings page appears. There you have loads of options. Scroll down to the bottom and edit the settings on the "Contact Information" category to the settings  as you see in the picture below.



This will ensure your mobile number is not visible to anyone (except you) on facebook. For guys this isn't a must as girls usually don't waste their money on strangers. But for girls this is a must as millions of men do not hesitate to have a female contact number in their phonebook ;)

Now you have set up your privacy options and you are ready to verify your mobile. To verify you need to move on to the "Mobile" tab of your "Account Settings" page.

Account > Account Settings > Mobile

Then click on the "Register for Facebook Text Messages" like it is in the picture here..



Then on the pop up window select your Country and choose you Mobile Service Provider and click "Next"



In the next pop up window that appears, if you are a girl make sure you REMOVE the tick on "Add this phone number to my profile" option. If you keep the tick there the number you verify will be shown in your facebook account (Info Section) and any of your friends or anyone who visits your profile can see it (Vary according to your Privacy Settings | Nothing to worry if you followed the steps we specified earlier to hide it from your showing in your profile). While you receive the confirmation code to your phone you have enough time to remove that tick as if you fail to do so you will have to change your phone number within the next few hours after verifying your facebook account. LOL



Now back on to our conversation about Login Notifications. This option works as a roadbloak to your account. When someone tries to access your account from an unfamiliar location(facebook usually note down your normal login location) facebook will send you an e mail and a mobile text informing that someone tried to access your account from a remote location & sometimes facebook lock down the account and ask for your security question to proceed with log in. Only you know the answer for your security question and none other can access your account as if they try to login facebook needs a confirmation from you through your security question to recognize that its you. The availability of this option will reduce unauthorized access to your facebook account.

3. Login Approvals : For me, this is the most useful option facebook introduced so far. To set up "Login Approvals" option, click on the check box as shown in the picture below and when you click on it a pop up box will appear. 



On the pop up box that loads you have a brief explanation about what login approvals are. Pop up box will look like the picture below.

What are login approvals?

Login approvals use text messages (SMS) confirmations to make it harder for unauthorized people to use your account.

How it works

When you try to log in using an unauthorized computer, you'll have to enter a security code that we text to your mobile phone.

Please note that for the first week after turning on log in approvals you will have the option to disable it even if you dont have access to your mobile phone. This is for your own convenience, but your account won't have full protection of approvals until that week has passed. 

Once you click on "Set Up Now" another pop up window will appear as you see here.

Enter your mobile number in the text box and click "Continue"

Even if you had entered your mobile number in your profile earlier this pop up box will ask to enter in again as confirming method.

Select your country and enter your mobile number and click "Continue".

Then another pop up box will appear asking you to enter the confirmation code.

When you click continue, Facebook sends you a confirmation code to the mobile number you specified. 

Check your mobile text inbox and enter the code sent by facebook in the text field  & click "Continue".

Now Login Approvals are active in your account.

4. Your Recognized Devices : This shows the devices that successfully logged in to your account since you activate login notifications as when that option is active, each and every time a new device is trying to log in to your account facebook asks to enter a device name to add it to the list here. If you see any suspicious device names (except the ones you enter) you can remove them by clicking on the "Remove Device" link in front of the device name. 

5. Account Activity : This shows some additional information about the logins. Date & Time, Device Name, Location & Device Type are the available options here. We cant assure about the accuracy of the Location & Device Type as they depends on the services provided by our Internet Service Provider. (Ex : For most users in Sri Lanka Location shows as "Colombo, No Region, LK" or "Colombo, Sri Jayawardanapura, LK") Here also if you see any suspicious activities you can end them by clicking "End Activity" link in front of the activity report.

In this article we discussed about protecting your facebook account from unauthorized access by activating some Account Security options. Our next article on "Facebook Security" will be about protecting your profile from scam , spam and phishing.  Don't forget to share if you feel this article useful. See you soon !!!


Copyright © 2011 Xtream Youth. All rights reserved.

Written by Ignatious Jayathilake (Creative Writer at Xtream Youth)

For further inquiries on articles please contact our administrators : Ignatious Jayathilake | Kasun Malith

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