10 easy steps to pro­tect your Face­book ac­count


Spe­cial to the Whig

I love shak­ing up old stereo­types and telling peo­ple how tech-savvy Ce­cil County Pub­lic Li­brary’s li­brar­i­ans are. Our staff uses tech­nol­ogy for al­most ev­ery part of their jobs: from teach­ing about tablets, down­load­ing apps, up­load­ing re­sumes or busi­ness plans to do­ing deep re­search and data anal­y­sis to find the best in­for­ma­tion.

One area of our work ex­per­tise that some­times sur­prises peo­ple is in so­cial me­dia. Our Busi­ness Li­brar­ian and other staff work with lo­cal busi­nesses to im­prove their so­cial me­dia pres­ences and CCPL li­brar­i­ans do so­cial me­dia pre­sen­ta­tions at the lo­cal, state and na­tional level. Not your grand­mother’s li­brary any­more, huh?

Here are some of our best, easy tips on Face­book se­cu­rity, be­cause most peo­ple don’t have these set­tings turned, on and no one wants to get hacked! Preven­tion truly is the best medicine as hacks can be em­bar­rass­ing, but can also ex­pose you to big­ger threats like viruses and iden­tity theft.

1. En­able 2-fac­tor au­then­ti­ca­tion, also called lo­gin ap­provals on Face­book.

This means when you log in via an un­fa­mil­iar de­vice, you use your pass­word, plus a code that’s sent to your phone. The “2 fac­tors” (pass­word + code to the phone) make hack­ing your ac­count re­ally dif­fi­cult, be­cause a hacker would need to steal your phone to gain en­try to your ac­count.

2. Use good passphrases and change them reg­u­larly.

If you’re not sure about the dif­fer­ence be­tween a pass­word and a passphrase, check out the car­toon from xkcd linked on the on­line ver­sion of this story.

3. Use ex­treme cau­tion when click­ing links.

Links are a key way for hack­ers to hide viruses. These days, peo­ple usu­ally know not to click on links in spammy emails, but now the threat could come via Face­book — for ex­am­ple, a per­son pre­tend­ing to be a Face­book em­ployee and con­tact­ing you via chat, try­ing to get you to click on a link.

4. Turn on lo­gin alerts so you’ll get a mes­sage if some­one logs in to your ac­count from a new de­vice or com­puter.

This is lo­cated un­der ac­count set­tings, then se­cu­rity. 5. Don’t leave your­self logged in. Uncheck the “keep me logged in” box. 6. Log out of de­vices you haven’t used in a long time.

This one can be a bit shock­ing if you haven’t done it in a while — you may find that you are logged into many de­vices. You can find this un­der ac­count set­tings / se­cu­rity / where you’re logged in.

7. Make sure you’re us­ing good gen­eral se­cu­rity prac­tices (and if you’re not sure, ed­u­cate your­self or ask for help).

For ex­am­ple, for your desk­top, use good an­tivi­ral pro­tec­tion, make sure Java and Flash are up to date and that your op­er­at­ing sys­tem is patched. Only con­nect your de­vices to trusted WiFi ac­cess points and make sure you get nec­es­sary up­dates.

8. Use Face­book’s built in “Se­cu­rity Checkup” tool.

This is a new tool Face­book launched re­cently for iOS, An­droid and desk­top that prompts and re­minds you au­to­mat­i­cally to check nu­mer­ous se­cu­rity set­tings. All you need to do is click “get started.”

9. Fol­low “Face­book Se­cu­rity” on Face­book.

This will put reg­u­lar tips, ar­ti­cles and up­dates on se­cu­rity into your feed.

10. Start think­ing about your other ac­counts (not just Face­book).

Most peo­ple have other ac­counts that are vul­ner­a­ble such as email, other so­cial me­dia ac­counts, bank ac­counts, and more. The steps above can of­ten be ap­plied to greatly en­hance their se­cu­rity.

We hope these tips help you to se­cure your own so­cial me­dia ac­counts and to start a con­ver­sa­tion with a loved one about their ac­counts.

Erica Jesonis is the chief li­brar­ian for in­for­ma­tion man­age­ment.

Each week, li­brar­i­ans at Ce­cil County Pub­lic Li­brary will use their in­for­ma­tion and re­search ex­per­tise to high­light re­sources, tools and ideas ex­plor­ing a va­ri­ety of top­ics, such as small busi­ness, job seek­ing, dig­i­tal ser­vices, tech­nol­ogy, read­ing and learn­ing. For in­for­ma­tion as­sis­tance on to­day’s topic or oth­ers, con­tact us: ask@cc­plnet.org, face­book. com/ce­cil­coun­ty­pub­li­cli­brary, (410) 9965600 x481 or ce­cil.ebranch.info


Mike Bliss plays Ash in Mil­burn Stone’s ver­sion of “Evil Dead,” a hor­ror com­edy mu­si­cal based on the film se­ries that be­gan in 1981 with “The Evil Dead.”

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