Gadgets & Gizmos

From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Change Facebook security settings to secure your connection

25

February

My Facebook account has been hacked twice. The first time the perpetrator was chatting up my friends, telling them I was stuck in London without my passport and asking for a wire transfer of a large sum of money. The second time I received an email saying someone had logged into my account using a mobile device in California. I was in Florida at the time.

One way you can keep your Facebook account secure is to make sure you're using a secure connection. The basic way to check this is by looking at your URL. If your URL starts with an http and not an https, you are vulnerable.

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The screen grabs above were made using the Firefox browser for Mac. You'll notice the browser changes the Facebook icon are with a blue background and the domain name to indicate you have a secure connection. Other browsers may use similar ways to indicate this.

To change these Facebook settings you need to go Account --> Account Settings --> Account Security. The check the box under "secure browsing" and click the "Save" button.

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If you access your Facebook account with multiple devices (phone, tablet, laptop) you also might want to check the box to have an email or text sent to you when your account is accessed by a new device. This is what alerted me to the second hacking episode on my account. Beneath those settings your account will keep a log showing each time a device has accessed your account. It's a good idea to check this log once in awhile to see if there has been any activity of which you aren't aware.

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Facebook security settings are a moving target and they often make changes without warning, so check your settings often and change you password often too to make things more difficult for the hackers.

[Last modified: Friday, February 25, 2011 12:18pm]

    

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