Ever had a friend lament to you that their Facebook account was ‘hacked’? Though relatively rare it does happen. What can you do to prevent it happening to you. The following are tips from the social media giant itself and some other gleanings I’ve obtained over the net. Most will also apply to other social media accounts.
- Have a decent password. 1234 is, as a password, is about as useful as sunroof on a scooter; simply pathetic. If the sum of your security prowess amounts to such a password, stop it! A password should have a combination of at least 6 letters, numbers and punctuation marks. Facebook recommends you don’t use this password for anything else. For more on passwords see the blog here. There’s some good free online password generators too that’ll help you create a rock solid password. Personally I like secure password generator as it’s customizable and provides a handy if though somewhat cryptic memory aid to recalling your new password.
- Watch out for fake stuff. An offer that sounds too good to be
true is well… probably … too good to be true! So wise up to the scams and don’t get duped into fake pages, apps and games. According to Facebook, ‘some scammers use bad apps and games to gain access to your Facebook account’. If a page is Facebook verified it’ll have a blue icon next to it like the big tick to the right.
- Don’t accept friend requests from people you don’t know. Scammers sometimes create fake accounts to friend people. Becoming friends with them will allow them to spam your timeline, tag you, target your friends and generally make your social media life miserable.
- Think before you click. Don’t click dodgy links. Report anything suspicious to the Facebook police. (They’ll go and bust down the door of these cyber criminals and lock them up forever in a dark dungeon somewhere off the coast of Ethiopia, melting the key to their release in a smelting pot that will eventually become a door hinge; Well not really, they’ll do nothing except remove the offending junk off their network but you’ll feel at least a little righteously justified in the process) Obviously don’t download files from Facebook either.
- This next one is quite obvious; don’t tell others what your Facebook email and password are. Granted you not that stupid, but watch out for phishing attacks. This is where you might receive a message encouraging you to click a link to ‘re-enter’ your password. If you ever end up about to re-enter your username and/or password check the URL at the top to be sure it has ‘facebook.com’ as part of the address. If it doesn’t, then it’s probably dodgy.
- Login at www.facebook.com not elsewhere. Always log out of Facebook securely.
- If you’re more paranoid than most check out also the extra security features in Facebook here.
- Facebook and most sensible geeks recommend using an antivirus program. For more info on selecting and using an antivirus program see here.
- Finally ensure your account is secure and has sufficient privacy settings selected. In next week’s blog I’ll show you how to do this.