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6 steps to secure your Facebook account now



  Facebook Logo Cybersecurity Hacking

Graphic by Pixabay / Illustration by CNET

Facebook knows a lot about you and that makes your account and the information it contains a major target for potential bad guys. As we learned through the Cambridge Analytica Facebook scandal, bad performers do not always have to hack our accounts to take advantage of our willingness to share information with Facebook.

Backing up your Facebook account does not take a long time and is best done from a computer rather than your phone, as some of the settings may contain a lot of information. Even if you've recently spent time backing up your account, you should occasionally visit the Facebook settings page and have a look again. New settings have probably been added and older settings have been moved.

Read on to learn how to set a strong password, how others can search for you, and how to prevent Facebook from saving your location history.

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Strong passwords and 2FA are incredibly important.


Screenshot by Jason Cipriani / CNET

Use a strong password and two-factor authentication.

To back up your Facebook account, you must first create a strong password and enable Two-Factor Authentication to be overrated. You should also update your password from time to time and make sure that you do not use the same for important accounts such as your banking app. Use a password manager to create and remember your unique passwords ( These are our top tips for the best password manager ). Go to the Security page and change your password.

If you have a new password, enable two-factor authentication. If 2FA is enabled, you must enter your secure password and a randomly generated code each time you log in to your account. (You should really use 2FA for each account and service that supports it.)

Most password managers can also store your two-factor authentication codes. However, you can always use Google Authenticator to store and access your codes.

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Take your time to customize each setting.


Screenshot by Jason Cipriani / CNET

Review Privacy Settings and Tools

Facebook has its own privacy section for your account. For example, in this section, you can set the default privacy setting for future posts, control who can send friend requests, and decide what information users can use to find your account.

Go through the privacy settings and tools page and customize each setting to your liking. I suggest putting your future posts on "friends" and restricting the search options for phone number and email address to "friends" or "just me" to ensure that everyone with only a portion of your personal information will use your account Can be found.

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There is no telling what kind of personal information you shared on Facebook a few years ago. Limit previous posts to prevent this information from being public.


Screenshot by Jason Cipriani / CNET

Limit the use of previous posts by the public.

The way we use social networking has changed significantly, as we are increasingly aware of how Facebook and Facebook users can use our personal information.

Luckily, you can prevent your previous posts from appearing when someone stumbles across your profile.

Go to the Privacy section and click Restrict the target audience for old posts in your timeline **, click Restrict Recent Posts and then click the button with the same title. Anything you've ever shared publicly or with friends by friends is changed to be shared only with friends, which limits who sees it.

You can not select which posts you want to change with this setting. If you want to do this, you have to go through your timeline manually and make those changes individually.

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You may be surprised at how many devices can access your Facebook photography.


Screenshot by Jason Cipriani / CNET

Testing Devices with Access to Your Account

Over the years, we have all logged in to our Facebook accounts on different phones, computers, tablets and various other devices. Facebook maintains a log of the devices that have access to your account and makes it easier to revoke access to an unauthorized device or device that you have forgotten to log out of.

View a list of all these devices in the Log In section of the Security and Login page. If you have multiple devices, click Show More to see the entire list. To remove a device from the list, click the three-point icon to the right of the device name, and then click Remove . You will be asked if all posts coming from this device should also be removed from your account. A handy feature if someone got access to your account and published it without your permission.

Alternatively, you can sign out of any device associated with your account by clicking View More > Log out of all sessions at the bottom of the list. I noticed that some devices from 2012 still had access to my account when I wrote this article – huh. I have logged out of all devices to start with a clean sheet. The few seconds I spend with reporting every time I use a device that has been revoked are worth the certainty.

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Screenshot of Jason Cipriani / CNET

Do not forget to search apps with access.

We have also granted countless apps access to our Facebook account. Over time, some apps are abandoned by developers and ultimately pose a security risk. If someone gains access to the app's user database, they can theoretically access some features of their Facebook account.

Visit the Apps and Sites page to see the active apps that have access to your account. Select the check box next to the apps you want to remove, and then click the Remove button.

You can also remove any apps that have expired access by clicking the Expired tab at the top of the page.

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Disable tracking of Facebook Location History in the Android app.


Screenshots of Jason Cipriani / CNET

Turn off location history on your phone

Facebook uses location data from your phone to create a map of your location history. You can delete your location history here or, if you do not want to save your location history on Facebook, turn off location history.

On an Android phone, open the Facebook app and tap the three-line icon. Under Settings & privacy select Privacy links followed by Manage your location settings on the privacy card. Next, select Location History and make sure the switch is off.

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Disable tracking of Facebook Location History in the iPhone app.


Screenshots of Jason Cipriani / CNET

The process is similar on an iPhone ($ 1,000 at Amazon) . Open the Facebook app and touch the three-line icon> Settings & Privacy . Then select Privacy Links followed by Manage your location settings on the privacy card. Here's the switch to turn off location history.

Even after you've backed up your account, you want to make sure that all of your dates are secure or if you'd rather just do Facebook, you can delete your account .

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