How to protect your Facebook account: a walkthrough
Those of you who have joined team #DeleteFacebook may avert your eyes. There are some of us – okay, many of us – who remain on the ubiquitous social media platform, and if you’re one of them, there are some things you can do to make your account more secure from prying eyes.
Here we walk you through the important settings you can change and behaviors you can implement to lock down your privacy on the social network.
Note: To change many of the settings below, Facebook will ask you to input your password. It’s a good reminder that if your password isn’t strong or unique to the site, now is the perfect time to change it!
If you only do one thing on the list in this article, do this: enable two-factor authentication (2FA). This means someone trying to break into your Facebook account needs more than just your password, they also need a second token that you own, be it a code or a physical key. The chances of someone having this in their possession are pretty small, so this step will stop most intruders in their tracks.
Facebook will walk you through the steps to enable 2FA on your account to help you get set up. You have a few options available to you for how you want to authenticate: you can choose to use a code sent to you by text message, which is easiest but not completely secure, or to use a code generated by an authenticator app on your phone, which takes a little more setup work.
If you’re really savvy and browsing using the website on a computer, Facebook also supports U2F keys like YubiKey, which is a physical key you plug into your computer’s USB port as your authentication token.
How to do it on your desktop: Go to your Facebook Settings and select Security and Login from the menu on the left. Next to Two-Factor Authentication click Edit and then Get Started.
How to do it in the app: Open Privacy shortcuts from the hamburger menu in the bottom left. Scroll down to the Account Security section and tap Use two-factor authentication. Choose whether you want to set up SMS 2FA or use an authenticator app.
You can turn on 2FA for your account from either the website or the app, you don’t have to do it in both places.
Get login alerts
If someone does manage to get into your Facebook account, you’ll want to know about it as soon as possible. If requested, Facebook can alert you to any strange-seeming logins to your account. You can be alerted via email, text message, Facebook message or even a Facebook in-app notification. It’s a little peace of mind and a very simple measure to set up.
How to do it on your desktop: In your Facebook settings, select Security and Login and scroll down to Setting up Extra Security. Hit the Edit button on Get alerts about unrecognized logins and customize how you’d like to be notified.
How to do it in the app: Open Privacy Shortcuts from the hamburger menu in the bottom left. Scroll down to the Account Security section and tap Receive alerts about unrecognised logins.