Social media has changed the way we communicate today, but it is still controversial as far as user safety is concerned. Facebook is the best example, not only because of the immense number of users it has but also because of the conflicts that the company has experienced recently, which leaves the level of privacy of its users in question. Despite this, some are reluctant to leave the popular network, since it has become an essential way of communication for them. Therefore, the question arises: Is it possible to use Facebook safely without compromising privacy?
These questions are also raised by the imminent need of parents to protect their children, who are regular users of the popular network. However, cyber attacks become more advanced each day and anyone can be the victim of cybercrime through social media: fake news, phishing and other types of fraud frequently occur, and even the most cautious user, can fall into one of them.
It’s time to sharpen your eyesight and go one step ahead of cyber attackers, you can continue to use Facebook safely, by following some simple steps:
How to use Facebook safely? From the basic to the most advanced configurations:
1) Do not accept friend requests from strangers: The first step is to control those who have access to what you publish, therefore, by common sense, it is better to only accept people you know. It is important that parents educate children and make sure that young people do not accept requests from strangers.
2) Set up your profile so that only your friends can see your publications, you can even select specific people to see or not each publication.
3) Avoid publishing information related to your location. Some people use geolocation to show where they are on vacation for example, in any case, if you want to do so, add the photos after returning home, when you are no longer in the place you show.
4) Do not post your phone number, address, names of children or pets, this can be an easy clue for cybercriminals to guess your passwords.
5) Control who can connect with you: If you enter the section “Settings” and then “privacy”, you can control who can connect with you. There you will have several options that you can define in terms of who can see your activity and how they can contact you, for example: you have the option to receive friend requests from everyone or just friends of friends. Previously, Facebook had a “preview” option to know how your profile looked for other users. However, the same platform announced this function is disabled, due to a security incident with this tool.
6) Check the permissions of the apps and websites: In this section, you can see and control the applications and websites that you have connected to your Facebook page. You can see which ones are allowed, delete those that you do not want to use or deactivate the platform completely. If you click on each of them, you can see what kind of information that application or website accesses.
7) Report offensive content: this option is present in many sections of Facebook and serve to allow users to report offensive content, usually just look for the drop-down of the determined section and look for the option “Give Feedback”, then, a member of the Facebook security team will investigate and evaluate if it is appropriate to remove the content of the site.
8) Review in detail the section “Security and Login”: Facebook has added more layers of security to its users, especially to protect the login and prevent potential identity theft. It is important to review the available options periodically. If you go to configuration and then “Security and Login” there are different sections that are interesting and we recommend you to activate:
- Check from Where You’re Logged In: in this section, you can see all the devices that have been connected, where and when they were connected, that will allow you to identify any suspicious activity in your account.
- In any case, Facebook will also notify you if there is an unusual activity, such as a connection on an unusual computer. In the section “Get alerts about unrecognized logins” you can determine how you want to activate that notification.
- You can also add two-factor authentication, either with a login code, through SMS or an authentication application of your choice.
9) Add encryption to Facebook notifications: One of the most advanced and interesting Facebook options is the encrypted notification emails. If you have them activated, you can use PGP encryption to protect these messages from possible intruders.
What can this serve you for? An example could be that for any reason you lost your password and you need to resort to the password recovery mail, with this functionality you would be ensuring that only you can read that email.
A more advanced feature that will require you to understand the encryption topic a bit more. If you succeed, you can enjoy your Facebook safely.
On the web the risks are everywhere, therefore the important thing is to improve our experience, to know the risks and advantages of each application that we use and the sites we visit.