Facebook Quick Tip: 3 More Ways to Shore Up Security

Facebook has made a concerted effort to prioritize security and privacy lately. Here are three new ways you can ensure your account is safe from hackers.

By
Tue, October 19, 2010

CIO — Yes, Facebook has made some privacy mistakes. But to its credit, the social networking giant has been busing rolling out update after update in an effort to win back its users' trust.

Recently, Facebook has given you more control over what information apps can access, created new groups to let you can share and chat privately and provided new access to mobile privacy settings.

And while these changes are enough for some people to restore their faith in Facebook, others remain skeptical. Here are three more ways you can shore up your Facebook security and stay safe on the site.

1. Use One-Time Passwords

Using Facebook on the go, such as in hotels, cafes or airports, jeopardizes your account's security, whether it's a public PC or wi-fi hacking that leaves you and your account vulnerable. To combat this, Facebook is offering one-time passwords if you're concerned about the security of the computer you're using.

To receive your one-time password, text "otp" to 32665 (FBOOK) on your mobile phone and you'll receive a password that can be used only once and expires in 20 minutes. This feature is rolling out gradually and will be available to everyone in the coming weeks. This is only available in the U.S.


[Want more tips, tricks and details on Facebook privacy? Check out CIO.com's Facebook Bible]

2. Sign Out Remotely

If you forget to log out of Facebook at the office or at a friend's house, you can now do so remotely. From your Account Settings, you can see where you're currently logged in on other devices, and log out if necessary.

From "Account" choose "Account Settings," then "Account Security." Here, you can choose to get notified via SMS or e-mail if a new computer or mobile device logs into your account.

Another good feature: You can also view the latest activity—the time, location and device that accessed your account. If these locations are suspicious, you can choose "end activity" to log out of the location.

3. Be Wary Of Games

Yesterday reports surfaced that several of the most popular Facebook applications—FarmVille, Texas HoldEm Poker and FrontierVille, to name a few—broke Facebook's rules and transmitted identifying information to dozens of advertising and Internet tracking companies, affecting tens of millions of Facebook app users.

While one data-gathering firm says it didn't purposely transmit the Facebook IDs it obtained to a dozen other firms, the breach still raises flags in Facebook's efforts to tighten up security and privacy. Although some progress has been made in making Facebook more secure, users still need to be wary and practice caution when using its games and apps.

Kristin Burnham covers Consumer Technology, SaaS, Social Networking and Web 2.0 for CIO.com. Follow Kristin on Twitter @kmburnham. Follow everything from CIO.com on Twitter @CIOonline. Email Kristin at kburnham@cio.com.

Our Commenting Policies