While we all know sharing information can be a very valuable way to stay connected and keep up with your families, the latest news and topics important to you, we must do our best to maintain our privacy settings to ensure our Safe LivinG! In addition to not sharing your location on social, let’s take a look at five of the easiest ways you can manage your privacy and security on Facebook.
When you mention the word Facebook to someone, it can evoke a myriad of emotions; some love it and some don’t but we aren’t here to persuade you either way. We’re here to talk about safety and how to manage your privacy and security settings on the platform. When it was first introduced way back in 2003, Facebook was actually called FaceMash and while popularity soared and information flowed, users weren’t really concerned with the long-term implications for their privacy or security of their personally identifiable information. Let’s fast forward twenty years, and despite lingering privacy concerns and amid illegal data collection allegations, millions of people still use the platform regularly and share a whole lot of information! In fact, according to Meta Platforms, Inc there were 2.934 billion monthly active users by July 2022.
Tip #1 – Log-Ins
Regularly check where you are logged in and make sure you log out of all inactive sessions. The quickest way to check your log-ins right on your phone – Go to your profile – press the “Menu” icon on the bottom right, press the gear icon at the top right next to the search icon, scroll down to the “Security” section and select “Security and login.” On the next screen it will show “Where you’re logged in” if you see more than one current session or any inactive sessions in the list click on the three small dots on the right hand side next to each session in the list. The option will appear to Log Out or Secure Account if you do not recognize any of the activities listed here. While you are already in the “Security and login” settings, you should complete tip #2.
Tip #2 – Two-factor authentication
Just below the security and login option you will see a “Turn on two-factor authentication” option. You will then be given the choice to complete this step through an authentication app, text messages, or a security key. It doesn’t matter which method you choose but choose one! Two-factor authentication is one of the easiest ways to secure your accounts and you should be using this feature on every single account you use whether it’s Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, online banking, online shopping, etc. This feature will notify you about any attempt to log in to your account from a device or browser not recognized or associated with your account. This feature has saved me on more than a few occasions and is well worth the extra step rather than the numerous steps you will have to take if your accounts get hacked.
Tip #3 – Autofill
Autofill may be a quick way to complete purchases, but be aware if you are using this feature, all that personal identifiable information as well as your credit or debit card information is being shared too. To turn this feature off you will press the gear icon on the main menu page and then choose “Profile settings” right at the top on the next screen. Scroll down to “Media and contacts” and choose “Browser.” Once there you can turn off both the autofill contact forms and the autofill payment forms.
Tip #4 – Ads
Everyone seems to complain about the number of ads they see in their feeds. Want to help minimize yours? Scroll down to the “Ads” option and click “Ad Preferences.” Here you can see advertisers you’ve seen most recently, ad topics, and ad settings. You can do a lot in these three sections and I recommend you visit all three and explore all your options. Some of my favorites are the “Hide Ads” options under the Advertisers tab because you can click through hundreds of them in a matter of minutes. You can do the exact same thing under the Ad Topics option and change all those from “no preference” to “show less ads about this topic.” This is especially true where you accidentally clicked on an ad and now you get them from various vendors about the same topic over and over again. This type of cleanup is one of my favorite ways to pass the time while I’m sitting at the airport waiting for a delayed flight.
Tip #5 – Off-Facebook Activity
Did you know that businesses and organizations share their interactions with you with Facebook if you do not disconnect this type of activity? This is another reason you see all these targeted ads. To minimize this, press the gear icon at the top right next to the search icon, scroll down to the “Security” section, then “Privacy”, “Your Facebook Information” and select “Off-Facebook activity.” Here you can clear your history, select activity to disconnect, and disconnect all future activity.
Be Secure on Social Media
If you take a few minutes to update these privacy settings, you will have taken steps to Live Securely Through Safe LivinG! Read more on cyber stalking and cell phones an article on our sister site, A Mindset for Personal Safety