THE BLOG

7 Ways to Protect Your Personal Information With Facebook

09/30/2015 05:36 EDT | Updated 09/30/2016 05:12 EDT
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With all the wild rumours circulating about Facebook, it's sometimes hard to know what to believe. Will we start to charge people money to use our service? No. Do you have to copy and paste that scary legal message your friends are sharing? No, that's just a good old fashioned Internet hoax (see our response here). But there are a few steps you can take on Facebook to protect your personal information, and we're more than happy to share.

1. Do a Privacy Checkup

What is It?

Privacy Checkup walks you through three quick steps to help make sure only the people you want can see your stuff. You can review who you're posting to, which apps you're using, and the privacy of key pieces of information on your profile.

How to Do It?

The Privacy Checkup is always available via your Privacy Shortcuts on desktop (just click on the lock in the upper right hand corner of your screen).

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2. Do a Security Checkup

What is it?

Recently, we launched Security Checkup worldwide on desktop (mobile version is coming). Learning from the success of Privacy Checkup, we created a similar tool to help people quickly & easily access some of the security controls available for their accounts. These controls can still be accessed at any time in Security Settings. Using Security Checkup, you can take actions like:

• Log Out of Unused Devices: easily log out log out of devices you haven't used in a while or forgot about, so you're only logged into Facebook on the devices and browsers you approve.

• Login Alerts: If you turn on this feature, Facebook will send you a notification or email alert if someone tries to log into your account from an unfamiliar device or browser.

• Using Strong & Unique Passwords: The strength of your password is more important than how often you change it. Don't use your Facebook password anywhere else online and never share it with anyone.

How to Do It?

Sometime over the next few weeks, you'll see a reminder at the top of your News Feed. Click "Get Started" and follow the prompts through three easy steps.

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3. Turn on Login Approvals

What is It?

If people are only going to make one change to maximum security for their account, this is it. Commonly known as two-factor authentication (2FA), login approvals provide an extra security step whenever you login from a new device. Facebook will send a notification or email with a special code to complete the login process.

How to Do It?

To turn on login approvals, go to "More" and tap "Settings." From there, select Security Settings, and check the box next to "Login Approvals."

4. Set Your Trusted Contacts

What is It?

Trusted contacts are friends you can reach out to if you ever need help getting into your Facebook account (e.g. you forget your Facebook password and can't get into your email account to reset it). The next time you can't get into your account, your trusted contacts will receive special, one-time security codes from Facebook. You can then call your friends to get the security codes and together, those codes will help restore access to your account.

How to Do It?

Go to your "Security Settings." Click "Trusted Contacts" and select 3-5 friends whom you know you can turn to in a bind.

5. Control What Information You're Sharing With Apps Via Facebook

What is It?

Ever logged into an app using your Facebook account? Most likely, you have. More than 80% of the top 100 grossing apps have Facebook Login, including some of your favorites like Airbnb, Etsy, Nike+ Running, and more. When you log in, there's now a quick and easy way to control what information you're providing to the app (such as your Likes, photos, birthday, hometown, etc.) This is a completely new and redesigned control screen that we first announced last year, and just a few months ago it finished rolling out in all apps that have Facebook Login.

How to Do It?

When you're logging into an app using Facebook Login, just click "Edit the Info You Provide." This will bring you to a list of all the personal information the app is requesting from you. You can check or uncheck each piece of information, line by line, to control what you share with the app. Plus, you don't have to be afraid the app will post on your timeline without your consent -- with Facebook Login, you choose whether to let the app post on your behalf.

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6. Double-Check the Apps Connected to Your Facebook Account

What is It?

If you use Facebook Login to log into apps with your Facebook account, it's a good idea to periodically review the apps you have connected to your account. This helps ensure you're only connecting your Facebook account to apps that you trust, and use regularly.

How to Do It?

Simply visit your App Settings page on Facebook to review all of the apps that you've connected to your account. You might find some that you don't really use anymore -- and you can easily disconnect these apps from accessing your Facebook account using the controls on the App Settings page.

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7. Get to Know Your Activity Log

What is It?

If you're constantly paranoid that you posted or Liked something accidentally, this will set your mind at ease. Your Activity Log includes all your Facebook activities, organized by the date they happened. This could include posts you've liked, posts you've commented on, friend requests you've accepted, check-ins or photos you've been tagged in, etc. Only you can see your Activity Log. For example, you can use Activity Log to see which friends' posts you liked over the past month or to go back and change the audience of a post you made in the past. It's a good idea to check in on your Activity Log regularly.

How to Do It?

Visit your profile and click "View Activity Log" in the bottom-right corner of your cover photo.

If you want to learn more about the information, tools and resources we developed to keep you and your loved ones safe online, please visit the Facebook Family Safety Centre.

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