Denver Media Group

Protect your Facebook account

We all have Facebook friends posting updates about their accounts being hacked or duplicated. Unfortunately, this seems to be a common occurrence as of recent.

Some Facebook users have opted out of using the platform all together. With major data breaches throughout 2018 and Facebook being under serious scrutiny, several have decided their information is better kept offline.

A 2018 study shows that one in ten Americans surveyed deleted their Facebook account after the Cambridge Analytica data breach.

Moreover, research is showing signs of strain on mental health through social platforms like Facebook. The #DeleteFacebook movement after the Cambridge Analytica scandal gave the perfect opportunity for users to “get happier” by deleting their accounts.

If you’re one of the billions still attached to a Facebook account, there are a few basic steps you can take to protect your account. While no account is completely safe from a hacking incident, doing your best preventative work can never hurt.

How to protect your Facebook account

Reset passwords.

Remembering passwords is a struggle. We get it. However, a best-practice for any social platform user is to reset your password any time there is a security breach (globally or suspected personally).

After all the data breach drama, you might feel the need to reset your password on a regular basis. However, if you utilize a strong password, you ultimately only need to reset when things are looking suspicious.

Strong passwords.

It doesn’t matter how poor your memory is. It’s crucial for your online safety to have a good, strong password. Passwords like 123, password, abc123 are easy to remember and extremely easy to decode. Hackers flock to low-hanging fruit.

Password strength is determined by the difficulty and complexity of the characters you use. The strongest passwords include lower and uppercase letters, symbols and numbers. It’s important to avoid names, dates and references that are familiar to you.

Profile photos.

Profile photos are used to identify yourself on social media. Unfortunately, it’s simple to steal a photo and make a fake profile. Facebook has rolled out a feature letting you add a ‘Profile picture guard’. This feature is aimed to prevent your picture from being saved.

While this is great in theory, smartphones make stealing profile photos easy via screenshots. Oftentimes we suggest using photos of pets or unidentifiable objects as a profile photo. We’ve heard horror stories of profile photos being stolen for online dating sites. To keep your face off the internet, don’t put your face on the internet. As they say: once on the web, always on the web.

Third party logins.

Time and again we’ve logged into apps prompting users with the option of logging in via  Facebook or creating an account from scratch. Out of shear convenience, it’s safe to say many choose logging into these apps through their Facebook account.

When users are done with third party apps, it’s important to log into Facebook and revoke the access they have. Otherwise, your information is still in transit between the app and the social platform.

By implementing these simple tips to your life on social media, you just might lower your hacking risk.

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