How to make your Facebook profile secure
We share so much personal information on Facebook that it is a good idea to make sure your security and privacy settings are set up in a way that makes sure that only people you trust can see your Facebook profile, as well as videos and photos that you upload.
We'll show you how to ensure that your Facebook account is completely secure so that only the people you know can see your details.
We'll also show you how to avoid some of the more popular scams that can crop up in Facebook.
1. Log in securely
When you log in to your Facebook account from a shared or public PC, don't tick 'Keep me logged in'. You're also asked if you want to save the browser – click 'Yes' if you use the PC often, or 'No' if not – so you're alerted if someone uses the PC to log into your account.
2. Facebook privacy settings
Facebook has made a number of recent changes to make its privacy settings easy to access. To view them, click the padlock on the top-right and a drop-down list of the most popular privacy settings is displayed.
You can also click 'See More Settings' for more privacy tools.
3. Who can see what you post?
Now it's time to check how much information you're sharing – and with whom. Click the down arrow next to 'Who can see my stuff ?' and where it says 'What do other people see on my Timeline?' click 'View As'.
Initially you'll see what your profile looks like to people you don't know.
4. Limit what people see
Status updates can include what you're doing, who you're with and where you are, so it's a good idea to limit it to people you know.
Click the privacy icon, then the down arrow by 'Who can see my stuff ?'. Under 'Who can see my future posts?' select 'Friends' from the list.
5. Restrict who can befriend you
You don't want strangers seeing all of your information. From the privacy menu, expand 'Who can contact me?' then under 'Who can send me friend requests?' you can choose only 'Friends of Friends' – people your friends know – to be able to send you a friend request.
6. Limit who can search for you
From the privacy menu click 'More Settings', and next to where it says 'Who can look you up using the email address you provided' and 'Who can look you up using the phone number you provided' click 'Edit' and select 'Friends' or 'Friends of Friends' for both.
7. Stop people searching for you online
These settings won't do much if people can type your name into Google and find your profile. From the same screen in step 6, where it says 'Do you want other search engines to link to your Timeline', click 'Edit' and uncheck 'Let other search engines link to your Timeline'.
8. Protect your browsing
When on Facebook, look at the address bar of your web browser. If it says 'https://' you're secure, but if it says 'http://', go to the 'More Settings' screen, click 'Security' on the left and next to 'Secure browsing' click 'Edit', then check the box to enable secure browsing.
9. Be warned if someone tries to log in
From the 'Security' menu, enable 'Login notifi cations'. This will email or text you if your Facebook account is accessed from a device that you haven't used before.
Under 'Recognised Devices' you can see all the devices you've allowed access to Facebook.
10. Add two-step authentication
You can get Facebook to send a login approval to your phone. When you approve it, you can use Facebook.
This can help prevent people using your Facebook account. Enable this by clicking 'Edit' next to 'Use your phone as an extra layer of security' in the Settings page.
11. Check where you're logged into Facebook
If you're worried you're logged in somewhere you don't want to be, such as a public PC, or are concerned someone else is logging in as you, click 'Edit' next to 'Where you're logged in'.
You'll see where you're logged in, and you can remotely log out by clicking 'End activity'.
12. Using apps
Lots of websites and apps let you sign up using your Facebook account. This often means the makers of these apps have access to your friends' details, your details and can post things on Facebook as you, unless you don't let them. Always check what access they want.
13. Change your app settings
In the Settings page, on the left, you'll see a menu. Click 'Apps' and you'll see a list of all the apps you have installed on Facebook, and who can see them.
From this page you can edit the settings of individual apps or remove them completely from your account.
14. Be careful what you click on
There's a number of scams on Facebook. A popular one presents itself as a shocking video that one of your friends has posted about.
Clicking the video allows the makers to post the 'video' on your behalf without your permission, compromising your account's security.
15. Choose a trusted friend
Should someone get into your account, they could block you from logging in. To avoid this, choose a friend who can get a code for you to regain access on your behalf.
Go to Security Settings and select 'Edit' next to 'Trusted contacts', then 'Choose Trusted Contacts'.
16. You're now completely secure
Now you've followed these steps, you can breathe a sigh of relief – your Facebook account is as secure as possible.
Make sure you pay attention to any notices telling you someone has logged in to your account – if you don't recognise the device, change your password!
- Still not secure enough? Here's how to permenantly delete your Facebook account