I write a lot about Facebook security, and I usually include one very important tip…
Set the privacy level for most everything on your Facebook account to either Friends or Only Me!
While I still strongly recommend that you do that, it’s important to remember that simply setting everything to “Friends” won’t guarantee that your personal info will never be seen by a nefarious stranger.
Yes, setting everything to “Friends” will ensure that only your Facebook friends will be able to view your photos, Timeline entries, contact information and other sensitive info directly, but…
Consider this: If one of your Facebook friends has his/her account hacked, the hacker is now your “friend”.
That means a total stranger can now see all of your photos and read all of your posts, comments and whatever info you have shared on your “About” page.
Now consider this: How often do you hear that someone’s account has been hacked?
Yep, that’s right. It happens all the time, usually because the victim fell for a phishing attempt.
If you happen to interact with the hacked account you could easily click on a malicious photo or link that will enable a rogue app that gives the hacker a back door into your account (or even worse, infect your PC with a virus).
But now, back to topic of this post. I said all of the above to say this…
Facebook is all about sharing photos, information, encouragement and good cheer with your friends and family, and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with any of that.
And yes, setting everything on your account to “Friends” is definitely a smart move.
But it’s important to always remember that Facebook is a favorite playground for hackers and scammers.
And while you can follow the tips in this post to prevent your own account from getting hacked, there’s no guarantee that your friends will do the same.
Now, here’s one final thing to consider…
Just having someone on your “Friends List” doesn’t automatically make them your friend.
Truth be told, there’s a good chance that you have at least one or two Facebook “friends” who don’t really like you all that much. In fact, they might not like you at all.
If you have a “friend” who is really an enemy and they see a photo or a post they know you’d rather not have shared with strangers, they could easily share it with their own friends just for spite.
And your privacy settings won’t prevent that from happening because anything that can be seen on a screen can be copied and shared (see bonus tip below for more info on that). Just something to be aware of.
Bottom line: I recommend keeping any information or photos that you don’t want strangers to see off of Facebook.
That includes cute pics of your toddler splashing around in the bath (a favorite target of pedophiles) as well as your address, phone number, birth date and place of employment.
It all boils down to this: If it’s on Facebook, it’s potentially open to the entire world regardless of your account’s privacy settings.
Bonus tip: This post has more info on this very important topic.
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