ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Is Your Facebook Account Open to Identity Fraud?

Updated on October 21, 2012

Facebook Security

I have a love and hate relationship with Facebook. It's great for keeping in touch with friends and families, yet there is a potentially dark side to Facebook that can result in your privacy being compromised.

Without a secure and protected Facebook account strangers are able to find out intimate details about you and potential employers would have full access to your Facebook profile to see if you are employable material. Consider this; you and another prospective applicant are shortlisted for the same job. With both your credentials being at the same level, your potential future boss decides to use Facebook to get to know the person behind the resume. You were recently at a hen's night and your friend has tagged a photo with you in it looking slightly intoxicated and holding a glass of wine. To a prospective employer who has a job of dwindling down a list of applicants to just one person that photograph may actually hurt your job prospects as you may appear to be the less responsible candidate.

The following article lists 9 ways that can help you secure your Facebook account.

1. Change Your Facebook Privacy Settings

Changing your Facebook privacy settings should be the very first thing you do when setting up a Facebook account. It allows you to have some control over who sees your posts and photos. You can opt for the generic settings or go deeper and customize some privacy settings to suit you. This means you can make certain things available only to certain friends.

You can even preview how your profile looks to different friends.

Account >> Privacy Settings > Customize > Preview My profile

Account >> Privacy Settings > Customize

NOTE: If you leave your account on the default 'public' setting, then anytime one of your friends 'likes' a photo or post of yours, that information is shared on the news feed of their Facebook friends. So what you may have meant to share with your family and friends has now been shared with strangers!

2. Remove Unwanted Facebook Apps

I've been using Facebook for a few years now and in that time have used many Facebooks apps almost unknowingly. Upon checking my app privacy settings, I was alarmed to see that I have provided hundreds of third-party apps permission to access my information. It only takes one of these apps to have a security vulnerability to compromise your account. I am not implying that you should never use Facebook applications; I am merely suggesting to use apps with caution and periodically review and disable unwanted apps.

Account >> Privacy Settings > Apps and Websites

Further Reading: How Safe are Facebook Applications?

3. Don't Facebook Check In

I personally have disabled the check-in feature on my account and have done so that no one can check me in as well. I think that this feature really needs to be used with caution. If you must use the check-in feature make it only visible to certain people. I find it hard to fathom that people actually check in to their home address! Why on earth would you publicly reveal your home address! Just remember if your Facebook isn't super secure, you've just shared that information with hundreds, if not thousands of strangers.

Account >> Privacy Settings > Customize settings > Places you check in to

Account >> Privacy Settings > Customize settings > Friends can check me in to Places

4. Don't Have Personal Contact information Visible on Facebook

Don't have personally identifying information on Facebook. This means no phone numbers that are publicly visible and I would even disable your email being visible from your profile. If people want to contact you they can use the Facebook messaging feature. Never make plans to meet up with friends via the public wall, always use the private messaging feature for this.

5. Make Photo Albums Visible to Friends (Or Specific People) Only

If you don't secure your Facebook photos anyone can view them. Often people will make every other part of their profile private such as wall visibility, yet forget about photos. You might choose to only allow family to view family photos and only co-workers to view photographs from work functions.

I'd go one step further and say if you have kids, don't upload photos of them in their school uniform as this gives away personal information about which school they attend. If your album settings are on public, and a friends of yours 'likes' that photos, then every single one of their friends can see that photo too.

Has your facebook account ever been compromised before?

See results

6. Use a Separate Email Address for Facebook

Many people sign up to facebook using their everyday email address. You might use this email on your CV, to sign up to websites, enter online competitions or enroll in classes. Any person who comes into contact with your email address can find if you have a Facebook account by merely entering your email address into the search field. This can mean major ramifications with potential employers looking at your personal profile, or potential strangers trying to find out about you. If possible, use only one email address just for Facebook.

7. Set Facebook Security Alerts

Consider setting up your security settings so that you are notified either via email or mobile if there is an unrecognized login attempt on your Facebook account. If this ever happens, change your password immediately and check your profile page to see if there is any activity that you don't recall doing. Also check your messages, in particular your 'sent' folder, to ensure no messages have been sent. You account may not have been successfully hacked but it is better to overreact and take safety messages that to under react.

Account >> Account Settings > Account Security


8. Change Your Facebook Password

Passwords should be changed on a regular basis. Opt for a mixture of numbers, underscores and letters and don't use actual words. The password that you use for Facebook should not be used for any other website, it should especially not be the same password that is associated with your email, as if your Facebook account is compromised, the hackers would then be given full access to your email account.

Should I Just Give Up Facebook?

There's no denying that there is a dark side to Facebook, yet that doens't mean that you should avoid it all together. It simply means that you need to be a responsible Facebook user, set the correct privacy settings and make regular reviews of those settings. Every time you add a new Facebook friends ask yourself what information you are comfortable for them to view and if needed customize your settings to accommodate this. Remember, not everything needs to be shared on Facebook.

9. Do I Really Need to Put That on Facebook?

Anytime you put something on Facebook really consider if it is wise to do so. For example, I would never put my date of birth on Facebook, or my workplace for that matter and I have disabled the feature that allows family members to refer to me as family e.g cousin, mother.

Am I being paranoid? Well I don't deny that, but consider this.

A Facebook account that is too open is vulnerable to identity threat. A dishonest person looking at your account would be armed with your date of birth, full name, work place, your spouse's name, your family members full name, your place of education and your hometown. A simple phone directory search could reveal your home address. They could even find out which places you frequent by your "check-ins." You have to wonder what a dishonest person could potentially do with this information.

© Website Confetti 2012 Thank-you for reading this article. You have just contributed to my Hub Page earnings.


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)