How to Protect your Facebook Account

by Jake Wyatt
Image Credit: Flickr

Last updated on 19th October, 2022

Facebook barely needs an introduction. I’m pretty sure that a 2year old child today knows what Facebook is. Even your pet knows.

For most of us, this is where we get to interact with our friends, business partners, potential employers etc. My coworkers frequently come to me as a “Tech expert” to assist them recover their compromised Facebook account. This is what inspired me to write an article about how to protect your account from these bad guys.

A hacked Facebook account can damage your reputation, reveal sensitive information, and even cost you money. Let’s secure our account before it happens to us.

These tips and tricks will help boost the security of your Facebook account.

1. Create a strong password

A strong password has a combination of letters, numbers and special characters. Example of a strong password: koBB!e2085$. Never use your phone number or date of birth as password as it is easier to guess. The hacker could get these details from your profile. Also change your password at least once every six months.

2. Change your privacy settings.

Hide sensitive information from outsiders. Don’t make your email address visible to your profile visitors. Hide your contact details (email address and phone number) from your profile.
You can do this by doing the following
If you’re logged into Facebook with a web browser (Laptop/Desktop):

Click on your profile -> About -> Contact and basic info. Click on the lock🔒 next to your phone number/email address and choose “Only me“. Click Done. Do it for all phone numbers and email address available there.

Mobile device (Facebook App):

iOS: Tap “Menu” -> Tap on your name -> See Your About Info -> scroll down to “Contact info” and tap on “Edit” -> Manage contact info. Change the privacy level of every email address/phone number that’s listed to Only Me. Do same for the email address also.

Android: Open Facebook App -> Tap on the three lines on top of the App (Menu icon) -> Tap on your name -> Tap “See more about yourself” -> Scroll down to “Contact info”. Change the privacy level of every email address/phone number that’s listed to Only Me.

3. Enable 2 Factor Authentication (very important)

With this enabled, anytime your or somebody else tries to log into your account, Facebook will require that you verify it’s you. A code will be sent to your phone number or email address and access won’t be granted without providing the correct code.

What this means is that, even if someone is able to guess your password correctly, he or she will still be required to provide a code which only you will have access to. This is why it’s called “2 factor” or ” two step” verification.

If you’re logged into Facebook with a web browser (Laptop/Desktop):

Go to “Settings & Privacy” -> Settings -> Security and Login -> Scroll down till you see “Two Factor Authentication”. Tap Edit and enable it.

Mobile device (Facebook App):

iOS: Go to Menu -> Tap on the Cog icon⚙️ -> Security and login -> Tap “Two-Factor authentication” and turn it on

Android: Tap the “Menu icon” -> Scroll down to ⚙️Settings & Privacy” section and tap “Settings” -> “Password and Security” -> Tap “Use two-factor authentication” and enable it

Don’t fall victim to Social Engineering

Most hackers get the information they need from the Facebook user through manipulation. They sometimes send malicious links to your emails pretending to be a reputable institution or organization. If the user falls prey, they capitalize and log you out of your own account. Before you click on any link, be sure you have cross-checked before.

This is what Facebook hackers do the most: A hacker tells you he or she is giving you a free coupon to your favorite supermarket or restaurant. He then tells you to provide him with a code sent to your phone. This code will be used as a password reset code to change your Facebook password. THIS IS ANOTHER FORM OF SOCIAL ENGINEERING. DO NOT SEND ANY SENSITIVE INFORMATION.

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