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December 29, 2015

The Internet is a dangerous place, even without the hackers. Sometimes it feels like you can’t even trust the social networks you’re using. When Facebook showed it could completely stop one type of link from showing up on their site – like their ban of Tsu.co links, which was recently lifted – it demonstrates a crazy amount of power.

Or maybe the trust issues have more to do with the people you’re connected with. You know, because sometimes it’s your closest friends who betray you, tagging a photo to your timeline before you even had a chance to okay it.

How dare they!

Don’t they know that grandma and grandpa just signed up for Facebook and incessantly scroll through your feed every day imagining that’s how people keep in touch? They don’t need to see those New Year’s Eve photos!

Don’t fret. There are a few ways you can secure your Facebook from friends and hackers, and especially grandma and grandpa. Here are a few tips.

Security Settings: Learn Them, Love Them

First thing’s first: You need to pop into your settings and customize them to your liking. There’s a lot to dive into, so I’m not going to break them all down for you here. You know how secure you want your page to be, and you’ll certainly find settings to match.

Don’t stop at the Security settings either. Make sure you look at:

  • Privacy
  • Timeline
  • Tagging

That’s how you stop those pesky party photos from making their way onto your page without your say so. You can also click on the “View As” under Timeline and Tagging to see exactly what your page looks like to others.

The Timeline and Tagging settings page is your best friend. Learn to love it.

With that taken care of, it’s time to focus on stopping your account from getting hacked.

Two-Factor Authentication

If you haven’t set up two-factor authentication with your social accounts, I’ll wait here patiently until you do.

Seriously. Go set it up now.

Don’t know what that is? Basically: If you try to log onto Facebook through a new device (laptop, tablet, etc.) a text message with a security code will be sent to your phone asking you to verify the login. That way, if your account gets hacked, or if a friend is trying something sneaky, you’ll be given a heads up to immediately change your password.

Pic2

It’s the best way to see if something nefarious is going on with your account. It’s even faster than those “Are you trying to change your password?” emails. Trust me.

Check What Apps Are Trying to Connect

With so many apps on our smart devices sharing logins, it’s sometimes difficult to remember what is connected to what. Sure, it does make it easier to post that perfect Insta selfie to Facebook. But with that comes security concerns. You can see where you’re logged in through Security > Where You’re Logged In.

I’d also peruse the “Apps” tab along the left sidebar in Settings. I found and cleared quite a few apps out of my personal page while writing this. And there were apps that I hadn’t used in years, casino online or didn’t even know I had. They all still had access to my account and friends list.

Trusted Friends

Trusted-contacts

Are these ladies your Trusted Contacts?

I’ve done a lot of friend bashing in this post, and I feel like I owe some of you an apology. You’re not all bad. And even when you guys post embarrassing photos, I know you have the best intentions in mind.

Even Facebook understands that some friends are just too good to lose. That’s why they implemented a system where you can assign a few “Trusted Contacts” – three to five to be precise – who will be sent a security code in the instance where you’re locked out of your account. They won’t be able to use the code. Just you.

You might have to buy them a beer or drive them to the airport at 5 a.m. without complaining, but hey. Small price to pay.

That Sounds Great, But I Have… Like Five Minutes

I know how it is. You’re waiting for the subway and don’t have time to click through all those security settings. So much Netflix, so little time. Yada, yada, yada.

Luckily Facebook has the perfect tool for you. Like a drive-through car wash for Facebook security, the Security Checkup will let you check out which apps and alerts you have on your account, and will even give you recommendations for new passwords. Because adele25 isn”t super clever.

With a few simple security checks you can keep hackers, stalkers, creepers and even grandma and grandpa out of your Facebook business. So keep your friends close and your grandma and grandpa on a custom “DO NOT LET GRANDPARENTS SEE THIS” newsfeed.

Need security tips for another social network? LinkedIn? Snapchat? Twitter? Let me know in the comments.

About the Author

Justin Lehmann

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