Today is the first day of spring. A time of renewal, shedding old things which no longer serve us, and embracing new life. How does that reflect on your personal and professional presence? It’s a great day to clean house. That includes spring cleaning your Facebook security.
Spring Cleaning Your Facebook Security
What with Facebook being in the spotlight again this week for questionable data sharing, perhaps we should start there. When was the last time you looked to see which apps collect your data? Every time you allow a quiz to access your Facebook page, it collects your info. Does that scare you? Maybe it should…
On Facebook, your name, profile picture, cover photo, gender, networks, username, and user id are always publicly available to both people and apps. Learn why. Apps also have access to your friends list and any information you choose to make public.
How to Review and Edit Which Apps collect data;
While you are at it, why not look at your logins. You can find them by going into settings, then scrolling down to security and login.
Did you know that every device you sign into on Facebook remains open? That includes tablets, smart phones, laptops, and every location you have been within all of them. If you haven’t checked in a while, I bet there is a list a mile long noting all the places you’ve been and the logins you’ve had. Are any of them unfamiliar? Logout!
Realistically, you can logout out of all of them, aside from the most recent logins from your trusted devices. This helps with your personal security. You can also setup alerts when a login comes from an unfamiliar location or device. Plus, you can create a two-step authentication process to add an extra layer of protection. And as an extra precaution, in case you get locked out of your account, you can choose 3-5 trusted friends to help get you back into your social universe.
Before you leave the page, why not change your password too. Choose something unique from other passwords you use and difficult for anyone to guess. If you worry about remembering it, write it down and hide it in a secure location.
Think Before you Post
Of course, one of the best ways to be secure online is to think about what you are posting, and who you are posting it with. Before you publish any post, you can choose who to publish it to; public, friends, specific friends, friends except, or only me. In your privacy setting, you can edit so that any future posts reflect that as well. Keep in mind that any time someone tags you in a post, you are visible on their timeline as well. Make sure you are comfortable with that or advise friends not to post or tag you in things. If you don’t want your kids, grandparents, boss, co-workers, or future boss to see something, perhaps you shouldn’t post it.
Because ultimately, no matter what setting you give a post, that data can be used and manipulated far beyond your own front door. Big brother IS watching, but more often than not, we are giving him the keys freely. If you don’t believe me, check out Facebook’s data policy. They state what they do with any data they collect openly and remind Facebook users that it is in the spirit of making the world a more open and connected space. If you want to play on the world’s biggest social media platform, you better be okay with that.
Facebook security is no joke. I would suggest you doublecheck yours today.