While we’re not an online security agency, we felt it important – in light of the recent stories regarding Facebook security – to share 5 ways in which you can become more mindful of your web activity and safeguard your personal information online.
Review your Facebook Account Settings
People are often surprised by how many apps have access to your Facebook data. You may remember actively allowing some access, but struggle to recollect when you even encountered others.
Apps can pull your social data once you grant access, but did you know that your friends could unknowingly be sharing your information with third-party organisations through their apps?
This is one of the ways in which Cambridge Analytica were able to harvest so much personal information from Facebook users. Don’t worry though, you can restrict the amount of personal information your friends can share.
The app settings have a section called ‘apps others use’, which is where you can control what information “people can bring with them when they use apps, games, and websites”. Untick any category you are not comfortable with being shared by your Facebook friends. To find out which apps have access to your data, go into your Facebook account settings, and then the app settings. Hover over any app of your choice and click the cross in order to delete them from your account and remove access.
If you don’t want to delete them but still want to limit their permissions, click the pencil icon and set the privacy to ‘Only Me’. This will enable you to alter what data the apps can access, as well as provide the option to modify notifications.
Review your Facebook Privacy Settings
Considering how much information can accumulate on social networking sites, it can be difficult to ensure your online privacy is maintained.
Many of us update our profiles with seemingly harmless information, but how many of you are aware of the ways in which your information can be harvested?
Identity fraud was up by 57% in 2016 as thieves used social media platforms to hunt for information. But what can be done to prevent this from happening?
The most important privacy changes you can make are to restrict who can see your posts and how people find you. The controls for this can be found in Facebook’s privacy settings.
In the section titled ‘Who can see your future posts?’, switch this to ‘Friends’. From that point on, only you and the people on your friends list can see your updates.
That’s simple enough, but what about all of your previous posts that are available to ‘Everyone’? Do you need to go back through all of them and change each one individually? Definitely not! Simply press ‘Limit Past Posts’ and everything you have ever posted will be restricted to just those on your friends list.
It is important to remember, however, that anyone tagged will still be able to see the post, as well as their friends.
Strengthen your Passwords
Data security doesn’t just stem from restricting third-party access and public posts. Your password also plays a massive part in stopping breaches of your account – and all of your information.
Password managers can create strong and unique passwords for all of your accounts and keep them secure with a code created by you. That way you don’t have to worry about remembering numerous passwords, nor do you have to reuse old ones.
If you want to make your own password, try creating a random or nonsensical phrase using a combination of letters, numbers and characters. For example:
– Knapton is the #Wright agency 4 U
– My favourite number is £seventy1%
Or, take a phrase or sentence and break it down:
– One time at work I made tea = 1t@W!mT
If you’ve ever forgotten your password, you were probably asked to answer a security question such as ‘What is your mother’s maiden name?’ or ‘What is your favourite food?’ to recover your account. However, even in 2015, Google discovered just how fragile security questions can be.
They claimed, for example, that an attacker would have a 19.7% chance of guessing an English-speaking user’s answer to ‘What is your favourite food?’ (it’s pizza, by the way).
Sometimes, the answers to these questions can be found easily through social media. ‘What primary school did you go to’ or ‘What is your pet’s name’ could be found quite easily on Facebook – which links us back to the importance of your Facebook privacy settings.
So, what can you do differently?
In Facebook’s account settings, there is a section called ‘Security and login’. Here, you can find a variety of options to help make your account more secure. ‘Setting up extra security’ gives you the option to enable two-factor authentication.
Facebook offers a number of different options for two-factor authentication; from a simple text, to security keys and a code generator.
This means that if anybody else tries to access your account, they will need the second key or code to actually gain access. Facebook also gives you the option to receive alerts for unrecognised logins. If an unrecognised login ever occurs, be sure to change your password immediately to remove the threat.
Found this article helpful?
People use Facebook for a variety of reasons, but whether it’s news updates, to stay connected with friends and family, to buy or sell, to be entertained or enlightened, there is no reason why they should be making themselves vulnerable to identity fraud, disinformation, fake news, or anything else for that matter.
Remember that the information Facebook stores about you, the data points it accumulates and uses to show you interesting, relevant content (and help advertisers reach the audience they need), isn’t shared with businesses. You’re just a number on an enormous spreadsheet!
By sharing the above tips, we hope we have calmed your concerns regarding Facebook’s recent negative press.
We ensure we stay informed with all of the latest social media news and updates – including those relating to security – to ensure social media users, from businesses to regular users, get the most out of the likes of Facebook and Twitter. Keep an eye on our blog and social channels for more industry updates.
In the meantime, if you’d like help in ensuring your business reaches as many people it can in the safest way possible, in line with the preferences of social media users, as well as the privacy guidelines, get in touch today!
Content Marketing Executive
Knapton Wright Ltd.