The planet's biggest social networking site, Facebook has billions of users worldwide but half of its users, or should we say more than half of its users are not aware about the privacy and security settings of their account. These settings enable the users to keep their information safe and share only amongst the users/friends they wants
And as a result, tons of Facebook accounts are being hacked, or spammed daily by the spammers and the bad guys. This makes this issue more viral, as once your account is hacked, spammers use your account to spam all your friends as well by sending malicious app or links in the messages and status updates with eye-catchy titles. We think this is our friend, who's posting but actually there's always someone else behind the scene.
Facebook provides the Privacy settings by which you can hide the information, photos and anything that you don’t want to make public, but the problem is, users don’t know how to configure the best privacy settings for the maximum security of their account.
We being an authority on the topic and being one of the best web blog on Facebook, always try to guide, aware the users. So, this time too, this is our prime responsibility to guide our readers as well as the other FB users on how to configure Facebook Account for maximum privacy and security. And it’s your prime responsibility after reading the article to share this with your loved ones to keep them aware too.
So, without wasting much more time, lets dig into it. We’ll show how should configure your General, Privacy and security settings according to comfort level of sharing.
We’ll first check out the General settings, just click the drop down arrow button at the top right corner of Facebook blue bar and then click ‘Settings’ or if you’re logged in FB, you can click this link https://www.facebook.com/settings it will take you directly there.
1 : Use a separate e-mail address for Facebook, never and ever use your banking or personal email address because in case if it hacked, then it will be great trouble for you. There are many free email providers like Gmail, Yahoo, Outlook, use any to create a free dedicated Facebook email address.
2 : Create a strong, secure password that should contain a capital letter, number and a symbol. Never use the same password for any online service, you can use the Password Manager like LastPass (Our favorite) to store password and login to online services with a click.
Click the security tab at the left side.
1. Enable Login Notifications - This will let you know, when your account has been accessed from an unknown device via a Text message or email.
2 . Require Login Approvals - This will require you to enter code sent to you via Text message, if Facebook doesn’t recognize your device. This method gives an extra level of security to your account and prevents it from hacked. Either you can enable text notification or can use the code generator in Facebook android app on your smartphone.
3. Code Generator - As said before, It gives you the code in your Facebook android app to complete login approvals.
4. App Passwords - App passwords are created to securely login into third-party apps like Skype, Spotify where you’ve registered using your Facebook account. Use app passwords so that you don’t have to wait for the Facebook login code and its a best way to keep your profile safe. Note that this password is different from your login password. Read this article to know more about App password.
5. Trusted Contacts - Set up a List of your Trusted contacts to get back your account in case of hacked using your trusted contacts. This article will help you to get started with Facebook Trusted Contacts.
6. Trusted Browsers - By choosing a browser as Trusted, you’ll not get the login notification on these devices. We recommend don’t save any browser as Trusted and log out after every Facebook sessions. If you earlier selected some devices, click the link and remove all from the list using the 'x' sign in front of the browser.
7 . Where you’re logged in - This will show locations and devices currently logged into your account. Check if all the sessions/devices you recognise, click end activity, if you see any unfamiliar device.
Click Privacy from the left tab.
1. Set your default privacy/sharing option to Friends, though you can also select the privacy option while updating post, pictures etc., if you need to change for an individual post.
2. Using activity log is the best way to get rid of unwanted tagging in status and profile pictures. Your all tagging stories i.e photos, posts will be move to your Activity log before going public on your profile, review them according to your preferences. You’ll find it in your profile right bottom side of your cover photo.
3. Limit the audiences of your past posts on your timeline according to your preference.
4. Set who can send you friend requests. You have to make this 'everyone' , if you wants that your old school buddies can contact you.
5 . Select which type of filtering you need for your account. Selecting strict filtering will lead to the unknown messages to the Facebook ‘other’ folder.
6. Set who can look you up to friends.
7. Don’t allow search engines to link/index your timeline.
Timeline and Tagging
Click the Timeline and tagging link in the left side.
1. Set who can post stuff on your timeline to friends.
2. Enable review posts friends tag you in before they appear on your timeline?
3. ‘Views As’ is a great feature to check out how your profile looks to public. Click ‘View as’ check your public profile or by entering a friend's name. It will give you an idea what your stuff is shown to public and friends.
4. Enable the review tags people add to your own posts before it goes public.
5. Set the tag suggestion to ‘No One’ to prevent from unwanted tag suggestion.
Click the ‘Blocking’ tab in the left side of the page.
1. In this section you can manage all the people, applications, event that you have blocked or you wants to block anything. It's a good thing to block friends whose account are either hacked or spammed by malicious app and unblock them after their account reclaim. This thing keeps your personal information safe from hackers and spammers.
2. Use ‘Restricted List’ if you have some people in your friends list whom you don’t wants any stuff to reach except the public posts. For ex. Your Boss, you can’t unfriend him/her and also don’t wants to show your posts.
3. Use app blocking to get rid of unwanted app/game requests from some friends. Enter the app name as well as the friend name to restrict the annoying app invitation.
Click the ‘Notification’ tab at the left side.
- Set your notification according to your preferences.
Click the mobile tab at the left side of the page.
- Here you’ll need to enter your mobile number in order to get the login approvals. And if you’re logging from unknown devices, you’ll will get a code that must be entered to complete the login process.
Click on the ‘Followers’ tab at the left side of the page.
If you enable followers in your account, the followers will be able to see your Public posts like the people in your ‘Restricted’ list do. Set the other options as per your preference. Follow me to get my latest Facebook Updates.
Manage Apps and settings
Click the ‘Apps’ on the left side of the page And be on ‘Logged in with Facebook’ tab.
1. Here you’ll be shown all apps that you authorised earlier, if you see any suspicious app and the apps that you’re not using, click ‘x’ to remove it and click the pencil button by hovering on the app icon to check all data this app is accessing from your timeline.
The apps which requesting complete access and chat to your Facebook account, are big danger, these type of apps put spam links in the message of your friends, put spam links in your status etc. , giving permission for complete access to your account means that app can do everything that you can do.
2. If you’re no more interested in Facebook games, apps, plugins and you don’t login using Facebook on websites, we recommend you to Turn Off Facebook App Platform to get rid of all Facebook games notifications from friends and restricting your data to use from third-party apps and websites.
3. Disable the Instant Personalization, its of no use, you’ll lose your personal information on third-party instant personalized enabled websites.
4. Apps other use - Set the info that can be use by the apps that your friends use. We recommend, uncheck, all boxes for the maximum privacy and security of your account.
5. Old versions of Facebook for mobile - This settings control the privacy of the stuff you post from old version of Facebook for mobile, which don’t have audience selector. We recommend set it ‘Friends Only’
Facebook Ads Settings
Click the ‘Ads’ tab at the left side of the page.
- Third party sites - Do you wants your personal information to be used by third-party website in rendering ads? No!, set it to ‘No One’.
- Ads and friends - set it to ‘No One’ to restrict Facebook from showing your name in Facebook Sidebar Social ads.
- Opt Out from Ads Based on your activity : Facebook show ads based on your activity on the advertiser’s website or app for best ad experience (According to them!) Click Opt out (Direct link) to turn off these type of ads. It’s browser specific setting, so you have to opt out from all the browser you use for accessing Facebook.
Here, you can check the status of your reports and enquiries filed. The notifications and messages regarding your reports and enquiries will be shown here too.
Quick Privacy Shortcuts
Click the padlock icon at the top right bar near the notification icon.
1. Who can see my stuff?
- Set who can see your future posts to 'friends'.
- Use the Activity log to review the posts, photos in which you’ve been tagged in, before it appears on timeline.
- ‘Views As’ is pretty good feature to see how your timeline appears to Public or a friend by entering the name.
2. Who can contact me?
- Use ‘Strict Filtering’ to reduce the number of SPAM messages in your inbox. In basic filtering everyone can send you a message while in Strict filtering only your friends can message you, non-friends messages will be dropped in your ‘Other’ folder/inbox (user have to pay some bucks to send message to main folder) Check out the complete difference between Basic and strict filtering message preferences here.
- Set who can send you friend requests - 'Friends of friends' or 'everyone'. If you think, you wants to connect with your past buddies as mentioned earlier, you have to set it 'Everyone'.
3. How Do I Stop Someone from bothering me?
- Just enter name or e-mail address to block any user from contacting you.
Facebook Friend List Privacy Check Up
- Go to your profile and click ‘Friends’ Tab. Now, click the pencil icon at the top right corner in your friends tab and select ‘Edit Privacy’. We recommend you save the changes as shown in the below screen shot.
Set Privacy Timeline Profile Information/About Page
Click the ‘About’ tab from your Facebook profile.
- Set the Privacy for all the fields according to your comfort level of sharing your information. To edit the privacy setting of any section, just hover over it and click the pencil button.
- Only enter information in which you’re comfortable in sharing with other users. Even if you select to choose any info with ‘Friends only’, what if any friend’s account got hacked? You don’t want to let access the information to a spammer.
We recommend the following settings :
- Don’t make any information public, either select ‘Friends’ or better 'Only Me'.
- Don’t enter your full address, either enter City & state or leave it blank.
- Set the privacy of your mobile number to ‘Only Me’.
- Don’t show your complete date of birth, only show the day or leave it blank as well.
- Profile & Timeline Cover Photo - The profile picture and timeline cover photo are visible to public, you can’t set the privacy for these. Even if, you’re conscious about these, don’t use your personal picture. And don’t forget to set the privacy settings for your albums and photos. There’s a privacy setting for every photo and album, that you can change anytime.
- Be careful while posting something - Always use the sharing controls while posting something online. Wrong sharing controls can get you in trouble anytime. Always be sure to check audiences with whom you’re sharing updates.
- Be careful while clicking on a link -Don’t ever click on any suspicious link with login in your Facebook account, sometime spammers send the spam links in messages or status updates with eye-catchy title from hacked account, we thinks this is our friend who’s sharing all these but this is the way most Facebook account hacked. Even if you wants to open the link, open it by right-click and select Open in new tab.
- Log Out from Facebook - Facebook has been known to track user activity on several website. So, always log out from Facebook, if you’re not using.
- Always use the latest Anti-virus software - Always use a best updated Anti-virus software for maximum online privacy and safety. Anti-virus warns users before opening any suspicious links thus it protects users from phishing attacks. Facebook giving a free trials of popular anti-virus software for its users, click here to know more.
- Facebook Help center - Don't forget to check these resources page for any information you need on any topics discussed here.