Facebook is not just a place where you like people and sites, share photos and posts with others and play games; it is a virtual extension of our life. And for that very reason – not to mention the endless amounts of sensitive data stored there – your Facebook account needs to be protected at any cost. There is no space for compromise: you need a strong password and you have to do everything in your possession to make sure that the password never gets into the hands of hackers and unknown parties.
Thankfully these countermeasures are really easy to take, and even Facebook itself has some nice tips on how to effectively protect your account.
Protecting Your Password the Facebook Way
Facebook is well aware of its importance in the lives of over one billion internet users worldwide and so the company also knows that it has to do everything in its possession to make sure user data remains safe. Hence why it has several pages – some of which is translated to the user’s native language – detailing security measures you can take to protect your account, including the app version (or Facebook Lite) and even Facebook Messenger.
These recommendations include:
- Not using your Facebook password on other websites.
- Never sharing your password with anybody else, especially unreliable, dubious sites like those created to reveal who visits your page or allows you to hack into other people’s account.
- Changing your password at regular intervals (every six months, for instance).
- Creating a strong password that is virtually unbreakable.
- Using Facebook’s extra security layers (see below).
- Protecting your device with anti-virus.
- Not visiting suspicious sites or downloading any file you come across when surfing the web.
- Never opening Facebook from an untrusted device.
- Logging out of Facebook when you ended your session – especially if the device is used by multiple people.
- And using a password management tool like Dashlane, 1Password and so on.
This list is already impressive, but there is one thing we would like to add: it is highly advised not to open a link in the Facebook app that directs you to a page where your login credentials are required. Since the app’s in-built browser doesn’t provide the same safety measures as a regular browser with or without a password manager add-on, giving out your login credentials might end up serving them on a silver platter for hackers.
Facebook and Password Managers
Complying with some or all of the above safety measures should be more than enough to protect your account. In fact, telling users to keep Facebook passwords in a password manager is by far the strongest recommendation the company could give, since a password manager takes care of the long and complex password ‘problem’ and doesn’t require users to memorize those passwords thanks to their ability to auto-fill login credentials into the sign in window. Moreover, such a program generates strong passwords for you and keeps them in an environment that can be only accessed by a master password – something that only you possess.
Accessing Facebook With Two-Factor Authentication
Just like password managers, Facebook also provides users the option to turn on two-factor authentication with which they can secure their accounts even further. The option to log out of every device on which Facebook has been opened in one swift action and getting notified of unidentified login attempts is already a huge asset but, as added benefits, Facebook can also send an SMS code to your mobile, generate an entire list of one-time passwords, turn a USB stick into a safety key, and add devices to a list of trusted devices.
VPN: The Extra Security Layer
Even though everything discussed already will be enough to strengthen the effectiveness of your Facebook password, there is one more thing that might not be as obvious as using a password manager or turning on the two-factor authentication: utilizing a VPN service.
Enabling a VPN during your browsing sessions is far more secure and effective than just using the incognito mode in browsers, since a VPN hides your activities and data from anyone else. In addition to that ISPs won’t be able to track you, what you are doing or where are you from, as well as provide access to sites that would normally be unavailable from your location.
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