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Security Tips to Keep in Mind while using Facebook. Surf Smart! Stay Safe!!

Updated on October 30, 2014

In the ever-evolving world of Facebook, security has always been an issue. With one billion plus active monthly users you can imagine the amount of data that is there out in the open. You can say It’s being served on a platter to the hackers, stalkers.

In September, Facebook rolled out its new security tool using a blue colored dinosaur named “Zuckasaurus-Rex”. It lets you know about what you are sharing with others. You can access it from top right corner by clicking on the privacy settings shortcut icon.

You can change the basic settings regarding your posts, applications and profile information from here. Just click on any of the 3 options and you can control what you are sharing.

Right next to the privacy settings shortcut icon on top right corner you will find a drop down menu, click on settings. You will see all the options on this page which can help you to prevent your data from people of dubious character.

1. General Settings:

On top of the list you can access General Account Settings which gives general information about your account like your username, networks, etc. One of the most important things is that it lets you set a password for your account.

2. Security Settings:

Next in the list is “Security settings”.

By turning on login notifications, you can have Facebook send you notifications on your mobile in case of an attempt of login from a device that you have not used before.

Code Generator implements multilevel authentication by generating temporary codes for login approvals and password reset, so you will be informed if there is an attempt of login or password change from your account.

App Passwords lets you login into third party Apps by using special passwords instead of your Facebook password. You type in the name of the App and Facebook will automatically generate a password for it.

“Where you are logged in” gives you details about all the active sessions. So if any session looks suspicious to you, you can always remotely log out from that device and end that session.

3. Privacy Settings:

In Privacy Settings you have options to control who can have access to your profile, posts, pictures, etc.

“Who can see my stuff” setting allows you to decide who can see your profile, posts and other things on your timeline.

If you want a particular album to be available only to an individual or a group of people, that can also be done. Go to the album, on the right bottom corner you will get a drop down menu. Click on custom and select the name of the person you wish to share the album with.

The next “Who can contact me?” can restrict someone from sending you a friend request or messages.

Next option “Who can look me up?” can be used if you don’t want your profile to come up as a search result when people look for you online. This will work with your search engine query too. (Google, etc.)

4. Timeline and tagging:

This setting lets you decide who all can tag you in posts and pictures. So unless you want your drunk embarrassing photos to be available online I suggest you use this function. First option “who can add things to my timeline” as you can guess, lets you keep a check on people who can post on your timeline. You can also review the posts you’ve been tagged in, before they appear on your timeline.

“Who can see things on my timeline?”gives you the option to decide who can see posts in which you are tagged in and who can see what others have posted on your timeline.

“ Manage Tags” include options like managing tag suggestions for your photos and reviewing tags by others on your posts before they appear on Facebook.

5. Blocking:

The next option is blocking. If someone is bothering you online, you can block that person and he won’t be able to send you any message, request or post anything on your timeline. This is a good way to get rid of that stalker kid at school.

If you put your friends in the restricted list, they won’t be notified of any of your activities.

Block App invites lets you to block applications invite from a particular person ( yep! the same friend who keeps sending you candy crush requests in spite of innumerable warnings.)

6. Applications:

Applications might be the easiest way to tap into your account for the companies. So one needs to be really careful when it comes to dealing with third party Applications.

At 2014 F8 conference, Facebook announced many important policy changes. One of them would be to be able to log in anonymously into third party applications.

Digital marketing companies may use your “Likes” on Facebook to advertise for the brands. If you like some restaurants page, it will post on your behalf with your profile photo saying that “Your friend Tom likes the ABC restaurant, check it out!!”.

To deal with these problems we have Apps setting. After clicking on Apps, you will get four options namely:

a. Apps, websites and plugins.

b. Instant Personalisation.

c. Apps others use.

d. Old versions for Mobile.

First option provides the platform for you to use third party applications on Facebook. It allows Facebook to receive information about your use of third party apps and websites. So if the platform itself is not enabled, then you won’t be able to access any applications, problem solved. We know it’s easier said than done. Who can survive a whole day without playing “mafia wars” or feeding your fish in “happy aquarium” for that matter.

Next is Instant personalization. Facebook partner websites can access data that you have made public on Facebook, then based on your likes and preferences they can lure you to buy their products or avail their services. Some websites can sell your data to digital marketers for profits.

Then “Apps others use” will help you keep a check on what your friends can share about you with the applications they are using. You birthday, relationship status, address, mobile number, interests, etc. You never know what your friends are upto.

These tips can help you in securing your data from others to an extent, but not from Facebook. It’s still there in their database, and anything online can not be considered as safe. The only way you can be 100% sure is if you share less.

So wishing you all safe facebooking and signing off until next time where we discuss some more security issues with our next networking giant “Instagram”.

Surf Smart and Stay Safe!!

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