IN­CREASE YOUR FACE­BOOK SE­CU­RITY

Ian Even­den de­tails what set­tings to change to make your ac­count safer.

APC Australia - - Software -

Ian Even­den tells you how to keep your so­cial life safe on­line.

There’s a lot of con­cern about on­line pri­vacy nowa­days, par­tic­u­larly on Face­book in the light of the Cam­bridge An­a­lyt­ica scan­dal, in which per­son­ally iden­ti­fi­able data on over 87 mil­lion Face­book users was col­lected with­out their con­sent — if it’s not your friends guess­ing your pass­word and post­ing hi­lar­i­ous jokes un­der your name, it’s the more sin­is­ter abuse of your per­sonal in­for­ma­tion.

There are steps you can take against th­ese in­tru­sions, both on Face­book and on the wider web. The lat­ter boils down to mak­ing sure your pass­words can’t be guessed, worked out through so­cial en­gi­neer­ing, or put to­gether from mul­ti­ple sources. They need to be long, too, so a brute force at­tack — which tries mul­ti­ple pass­words ex­tremely quickly — takes much longer to work through the per­mu­ta­tions. No us­ing your date of birth or the name of your cat, ei­ther, un­less you know the se­cret name Mr Tick­les only tells other cats.

1 DIS­ABLE PLAT­FORM

The nu­clear op­tion. Turn­ing off Plat­form pre­vents the in­te­gra­tion of Face­book with apps and games, dis­ables the abil­ity to log into web­sites us­ing your Face­book ID, and stops friends’ Face­book apps ac­cess­ing your per­sonal in­for­ma­tion. Turn­ing Plat­form off might be in­con­ve­nient, but its se­cu­rity ben­e­fits are un­de­ni­able. Find it in Set­tings, un­der ‘Apps and Web­sites’ [Im­age A].

2 IN­CREASE PRI­VACY

Face­book is fi­nally clamp­ing down on ac­cess to your data, but there’s more you can do to hide things. Un­der Set­tings > Pri­vacy [Im­age B], you can change who sees your posts, with sev­eral lev­els of con­trol. ‘ Pub­lic’ posts are just that — pub­lic. Any­one can see them. ‘Friends’ means only Face­book friends can see your posts, and you can con­trol this fur­ther by ex­clud­ing peo­ple.

3 LIMIT AC­CESS

Still in Set­tings > Pri­vacy, if you want to stop spe­cific peo­ple see­ing your posts, you can [Im­age C]; you can also spec­ify friends who can see your posts while ex­clud­ing ev­ery­one else. There’s also ‘Only Me’, which re­stricts the vis­i­bil­ity of your posts to just you. It makes Face­book aw­fully quiet, but is the most pri­vate you can get. There’s an ar­ray of cus­tom set­tings, too.

4 PRI­VACY CHECK-UP

One way to check your pri­vacy set­tings is to use the Pri­vacy Check-up fea­ture, found by drop­ping down the

“Face­book is fi­nally clamp­ing down on ac­cess to your data, but there’s more you can do to hide things.”

ques­tion mark menu at the top-right of Face­book’s in­ter­face. This takes you through com­mon set­tings, in­clud­ing whether those peo­ple who can see when your birth­day is can also see the year you were born. There’s also a short­cut to the pri­vacy set­tings.

5 CRE­ATE A STRONG PASS­WORD

The key to a strong pass­word is cre­at­ing some­thing you will re­mem­ber but no one else can guess. Long strings of ran­dom char­ac­ters are tricky to com­mit to mem­ory, but a pass­word made up of three words is much eas­ier to re­call: “Horse Duck Gib­bon,” for ex­am­ple. Ex­tra cap­i­tal let­ters and a num­ber on the end de­crease the chance of crack­ing it. The longer you can make it, the bet­ter [Im­age D].

6 USE TWO-FAC­TOR AU­THEN­TI­CA­TION

Two-fac­tor au­then­ti­ca­tion in­volves a mes­sage be­ing sent to your mo­bile after you have en­tered your user­name and pass­word, with a code that you then type into the web­site to ver­ify that it’s ac­tu­ally you. It means trust­ing the site in ques­tion with your phone num­ber, but if some­one guesses your pass­word, they’re un­likely to have stolen your phone, too, and this tips you off about any lo­gin at­tempts [Im­age E].

7 USE A PASS­WORD MAN­AGER

Pass­word man­age­ment apps — such as 1Pass­word, Keeper, and True Key — sit be­tween you and the web­site you’re log­ging in to. They gen­er­ate and store your pass­words — strong, long, ran­dom se­quences that you might strug­gle to re­call but apps have no prob­lem re­mem­ber­ing. When you log into the man­age­ment app, it sup­plies the pass­word di­rectly to the site. They usu­ally re­quire a monthly sub­scrip­tion, though.

8 DELETE APPS YOU DON’T USE

Un­der ‘ Set­tings > Apps and Web­sites’, you’ll find a list of apps and sites you’ve ap­proved for ac­cess to your Face­book ac­count. If you no longer use — or don’t recog­nise — any of them, you can re­voke their ac­cess or edit the kind of data they have ac­cess to [Im­age F]. Also check the Ex­pired tab for apps you may not have used re­cently, and which can no longer make re­quests for data.

9 LOG OUT WHEN FIN­ISHED

It may sound sim­ple, but this is one of the best se­cu­rity mea­sures you can take, es­pe­cially if you share your PC with oth­ers. Log­ging out [Im­age G] puts an ob­sta­cle in the way of those who would use your so­cial me­dia ac­counts for evil, par­tic­u­larly the jokers who send mes­sages in your name. Of course, if you’ve set your browser to re­mem­ber your pass­word, then log­ging out is no de­fence at all.

10 DE­AC­TI­VATE YOUR AC­COUNT

If you’re con­sid­er­ing ditch­ing Face­book com­pletely, but aren’t quite sure, this is the al­ter­na­tive. De­ac­ti­va­tion is not the same as delet­ing — if you ever log back into Face­book, per­haps when redi­rected from an­other site, your ac­count will re­ac­ti­vate, and pop back up again, just as it was when you de­ac­ti­vated it. To do it, head to Set­tings > Gen­eral. Click Edit next to ‘Man­age Ac­count’, then ‘De­ac­ti­vate your ac­count’ [Im­age H]. One more click, and you’re free.

H

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.