How secure is Facebook? Can you check someone’s Facebook messages without them knowing? How can I keep my account as secure as possible? Given how much time we spend on social media and how much of our personal lives we put up there, the question of security doesn’t come up anywhere near as much as it should.
We willingly share our lives with friends and contacts but we never want people we don’t know to see it. So can they?
How secure is Facebook?
- How secure is Facebook?
- Can you check someone’s Facebook messages without them knowing?
- How can I keep my Facebook account secure?
As a platform, Facebook is reasonably secure. The weak link is usually the human in most competent platforms and this is no different. Facebook depends on you having a strong password, using two-factor authentication and being aware of the various scams that use the social network.
As long as you use a strong password, or a super-strong password and a password manager, use two-factor authentication, have a care to what you post and who can view it and don’t mindlessly click all the random links you get sent, you should be fine.
Can you check someone’s Facebook messages without them knowing?
Or can someone else check yours? The answer is no, not really. There are ways to compromise the account so you can login but they use social engineering techniques.
There is also phone and desktop spyware on the market that can capture usernames and passwords and anything that is typed into the device. Those products are not something normal people would buy or use and should be quickly detected by an antivirus or malware scan.
So without sending you a phishing email or trying to trick you out of your Facebook password, or loading spyware onto your device, you cannot check someone’s Facebook messages without them knowing.
How can I keep my Facebook account secure?
As long as you are mindful of what you post and who can see it, maintaining account security is quite straightforward. The following tips will help you maximize the security of your account and minimize the risk of having it hacked.
Use a unique password
Never repeat passwords between accounts. If you lose one, you lose them all and that’s bad. Use a strong, unique password and keep it secure. Use a password manager to make life easier and generate a truly strong, random password.
Use two-factor authentication
Facebook introduces two-factor authentication, 2FA, a while ago and everyone should use it. It adds a second layer of security to your account that means stealing your password alone isn’t enough. You log in as usual and then receive a text message with a code. Only with your phone and password will someone else be able to log into your Facebook account.
Don’t blindly accept Facebook friend requests
We all collected friends for a while before everything calmed down and we began just being friends with people we are actually friends with. This is a good way to remain secure. Not everyone who sends a friend request is going to be an upstanding citizen. While they cannot do anything to you directly, they can harvest a lot of information from what you post.
Consider what you post
Remember those families who posted they were going on holiday on Facebook and came back to find their house trashed or cleaned out? Watch what you put on Facebook. Consider how much information is in your post. Could someone you don’t know use it for their own gain? Could they use it to identify where you live? Where you work? When you won’t be home?
Don’t use Facebook vacation check-in
Yes, we know it’s great to be able to bask in the smugness of being on the beach while your friends are all at work. For the reasons above, it might not be a good idea to tell everyone who can see your Facebook that you’re not home.
Have a clear out once in a while
Log into Facebook, go to Settings and work through Privacy, Location, Apps and websites, Games and Payments and clear out anything that isn’t relevant or change what should be changed. Remove old websites, games and apps you no longer use, clear out payment methods you don’t use, set as much of your Facebook account to private as is practical and keep an eye on everything that’s going on with your account.
Think before you click
People share all sorts of stuff on Facebook. Most of it will be harmless and do what it says it will do. Some of it won’t and can lead to malware, spyware or worse. Be mindful of who sent it, what the URL says when you hover over it and what your gut tells you. If you trust the person, it is probably okay. If you don’t know them, it might not be okay.
Keeping Facebook secure is an essential part of using social media. The sheer volume of personal data we put on the network means we have to take extra steps to keep it all secure. Now you know how, there’s no excuse!