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Lockdown your Facebook account for maximum privacy and security

Privacy concerns are on the minds of everyone, and with good reason. With all of the various websites, software programs and applications collecting our data, it’s enough to make anyone nervous. And Facebook is one of the biggest culprits. Not simply because of its tracking methods, but also because it’s so popular.

Nearly everyone uses Facebook to keep in touch with family, friends and colleagues. But, if you’re a follower, then you know all about the ways Facebook can track you. Methods such as household targeting are why Facebook is so attractive to advertisers. Plus, if you’re not careful, your profile information can fall into the wrong hands.

That’s why it’s so important that you lock down your Facebook account for maximum privacy and security. And the good news is, it’s not that hard. We’ll walk you through the steps.

For your Facebook profile’s Security Settings, here’s what they do.

Choose friends to contact if you get locked out – If for some reason you don’t have access to your phone, email, nor do you have your security codes, you can nominate three to five of your closest Facebook friends to generate security codes for you. You have to think twice about using this, obviously, because of security purposes. We feel that the proper use of two-factor authentication and the login codes should be enough.

Where You’re Logged in – Now this could save you in a pinch. This is a list of all your currently active Facebook sessions. This specifies the type of browser or app that’s logged in to your account and the session may be on any one of your devices. Review this list regularly and if you see a session you are not familiar with, you could log it out and close it clicking the three dots on the right side then choose “Log Out.”

Change password – This is self-explanatory. Use this to create a new password if you think your account was compromised or if you need a stronger one.

Log in with your profile picture – On your recognized and approved devices, use this to save time. This allows you to tap on your profile picture to log in to your account instead of entering your password each time.

Get alerts about unrecognized logins – We recommend that you turn on Notifications. That way, you will be alerted if a new device tries to log in to your account and approve or reject unknown logins.

Use two-factor authentication – If you are logging in from a previously unused device or browser, a text message with a verification code will be sent to your phone. This code then is used, in conjunction with your email and password, to log in. This adds an extra layer of security that is common with numerous web services so we recommend that you utilize it.

Within this section, you can review a bunch of options

  • Text message (SMS) – this is where you enter the phone number you want your login code to be sent to.
  • Security Keys – This is for authorizing hardware USB or NFC keys.
  • Code Generator -Apart from the text message authentication, if you want to generate your own login codes, you could use third party authenticator mobile apps like 2STP Authenticator or the aptly named app, Authenticator to provide those for you. This is totally optional so it is up to you.
  • Login Approval Codes/Code Generator – If you turned on Login Approvals, Facebook will generate 10 random codes for you to use in case you lost your phone and you need to log in using another device. Facebook recommends writing them down and keeping them handy, just in case. You could also get new codes in this section.
  • App passwords – since two-factor authenticator doesn’t work with all apps (ex. Skype, Spotify), you can use this to generate random passwords for them. If you don’t want to input your Facebook password to log in to other apps that use Facebook accounts, you can also generate your own passwords in this section. Just type the name of the app then click “Generate Password.” You could remove these passwords anytime.

Choose 3 to 5 friends to contact if you get locked out – this is the same thing as “Choose friends to contact if you get locked out.”

Encrypted notification emails – For advanced users who want added email communication security, Facebook added an option to encrypt outbound emails (Facebook to other accounts) with OpenPGP keys. Facebook provides their own public keys you could use.

Bonus: These two security settings were moved to the General section.

Legacy Contact – This is a bit of a downer, but in the event of your death you could choose to memorialize your account and have a Facebook contact look after it. Your legacy contact could then write a pinned post to your Timeline, respond to friend requests and update your profile picture and cover photo. If you want your account to be automatically deleted in the event of your death, you could “Request account deletion” in this section instead.

Deactivate Your Account – the last security setting available to you is for deactivating your account. This will temporarily disable your Facebook profile and will hide almost all of your activity on Facebook. Deactivation will not delete your Facebook account and you could always reactivate it with all your Facebook data still intact.

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