How To: Managing Your Facebook Security Settings

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Social networks like Facebook are open to phishing, malware and other unwanted problems. While there is no perfect solution, you can change your Facebook security settings to help increase your privacy and safety.

Adjusting your Facebook Security Settings

Unless you want the whole Facebook network world to see all your profile, photos and videos, it should be limited to people you trust. You can do this by selecting the Friends option for your personal information in the Privacy Settings and Tools section. The other less secure settings options include the Public option.

To manage your Facebook privacy settings:

1. Go to Settings > Privacy.

2. In the Privacy Settings and Tools section, you can change your security settings for the things you share, the things other people share with you, and your contact information.

3. Determine how secure you want each one of these sections. If you are unsure, change all of these settings to Friends with the appropriate menus.

 

Opting out from Facebook’s Tag Suggestion Feature

Facebook has a feature that will “recognize” your face in photographs uploaded to Facebook. Many privacy advocates are worried that this could lead to anyone being able to search for information about you based on any picture of you.

To opt out of the tag suggestion feature:

1. Go to Settings > Privacy.

2. Click Timeline and Tagging.

3. In the Who sees tag suggestions when when photos that look like you are uploaded section, click Edit.

4. Click the drop-down menu and select No One.

 

Turning On the Tag Review Feature

Facebook allows anyone to tag you now, so if you want to review all photos in which you are tagged, you must turn on the tag review feature.

To turn on the tag review feature:

1. Go to Settings > Privacy.

2. Click Timeline and Tagging.

3. In the Review tags people add to your own post before the tags appear on Facebook, click Edit.

4. Click the drop-down menu and select On.

 

Removing Your Name and Profile Picture from Facebook Social Ads

Facebook created Social Ads a few years ago which allows your name and profile picture to be displayed in advertisements your friends see. While this might not seem like a big deal, their privacy policy states that your name and profile picture could be used in the future for third party applications or ad networks unless you remove your name and profile picture from Social Ads.

To remove your name and profile picture from Facebook Social Ads:

1. Go to Settings > Privacy.

2. Click Ads.

3. From the Ads based on my use of websites and apps section, click Edit.

4. Select No and then click Save Changes.

5. From the Ads with my social actions section, click Edit.

6. Select No one and then click Save Changes.

 

Other Security Considerations

  • When you create your Facebook account, don’t display your birthday, hometown or schools you attended to everyone. Since identity theft is a big issue, limit this to family and close friends.
  • If you play games or use a lot of applications on Facebook, consider creating a new account that does not have any personal information in it.
  • Keep your Internet browser current. Since new malware and viruses are discovered all the time, having the latest software will help eliminate these problems.
  • Change your Facebook login password often. If you share a computer (or use a public one), don’t set the option to remember any passwords you enter into websites.
  • It’s great to connect on Facebook with lots of people for networking and friendship, but be selective when adding friends that will have access to your page.
  • Make sure you click Account > Log Out when you end your Facebook session. If you simply close your browser, your account is still active. The next person to open a browser on your computer and visit Facebook will be logged into your account.
  • As a rule, don’t click on suspicious links. These might be embedded in a suspicious spam message or video posted on a friend’s account. When you click on this link, malware might be loaded onto your computer. You might even be asked to login to Facebook again, although this time you are logging into a different website set up by a hacker to steal your login information. The best rule is to use your common sense.
  • Clickjacking is a technique used by attackers to trick users into clicking on links or buttons that are hidden from view. There is a tool that was created to help you avoid clickjacking called Web of Trust (WOT), which is a free browser tool that maintains a database of known safe sites as well as malicious sites reported by the WOT community. You can download WOT by visiting http://www.mywot.com.
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Jared Howe

Jared Howe is PRIVATE WiFi’s Senior Manager, Product Marketing Communications. Working in high tech for over 15 years, Jared currently lives in Seattle with his wife, daughter, and their two cats.