A year ago our good friend, Seth, circulated instructions on how to keep your Facebook (FB) account secure. Since then FB has made many changes to their user interface and is continuously updating its information.
We re-tested some of these instructions and are passing them on to you. If you are interested in securing your FB account and keeping some privacy, then follow these step-by-step instructions.
1. YOUR FRIENDS LIST
You cannot prevent your friends from seeing your friends list, but you can prevent non-friends from seeing your friends list.
On the top right click on your name to go to your Wall page. On your Wall page at the center left you will see a pencil icon next to Edit Profile, select this and you will see a list on the left side. Select Friends and Family and select “Friends” from the drop-down menu. Save Changes once done.
2. YOUR CONTACT INFORMATION
In the same way you secured your Friends List, select Contact Information from Edit Profile. I recommend you set all fields to “Only Friends” or “Only Me” depending on the information, unless you want some information to be open to “Public”. Save Changes once done.
3. REMOVE ANY BAD APPS AND ADJUST PRIVACY
If you have added some FB apps, you may want to undo that. You may not have known this, but FB apps require access to all of your data and in some instances to your friends and family data. You want to secure all data and apps-related activity from being publicly available. You don’t know who wrote some of these apps or what they are doing with your information. Some of the apps could actually be viruses.
To change this, on the top right select Account Settings from the drop-down menu next to Home. On the list to the left, select Apps to see all applications authorized for your FB account. First, if you see any apps you don’t want to have access to your profile, select X next to Edit in order to remove it. Next go through each app one by one by selecting Edit next to each one and set App activity privacy to “Friends” or “Only Me.” Under This app can, determine which ones you want to keep…for example, you may want to “Remove” ones that publish information as “You” directly to your wall, or access your data any time telling everyone each thing you are doing. Can you believe it!!
FB accounts get hacked into frequently. One of the reasons any account gets hacked into is because weak passwords are used. A secure password should be at least six digits long and composed of numbers and letters. Read our Computer Tip on how to Secure Passwords for guidance, which includes two recommended password management tools.
FB changes their user interface often so don’t be surprised if these steps change over time. I am available for any questions on Skype: patient.computer.tutor or Email.
David Goes has more than 20 years of experience in the financial services and computer industry. He holds a Bachelors degree in MIS with cum laude designation. His expertise is in providing computer solutions that deliver business value and personal efficiency through database management, computer optimization, website design, and internet marketing.