Most of us are trigger happy when it comes to Facebook posts, without us sparing a thought that our Facebook account might not be as safe as we think it to be. No, we are not going to recommend a sophisticated firewall or a VPN but instead, shed some lights on basic steps that one can take to ensure the safety of Facebook account.

The Basics

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In this section, I cover some rudimentary measures that can strengthen the security for your Facebook accounts. Most of the steps involve toggling some security settings offered by Facebook. The steps range from enabling advanced notifications to creating an additional layer of credentials required while logging in.

Turn on the login alerts

Login alert is pretty useful as it allows users to see if someone has logged in from an unauthorized device or even a browser. The notification will be sent across to your email and browser. While I agree that this has the potential to turn out quite annoying, especially if you access Facebook from different machines but again its worth the pain. Go to Security Settings>Login Alerts section>Choose the type of alert you want to receive>Click Save Changes.

After turning on the Login alerts you can also save your browser and device as recognized. However, it’s not recommended to choose this option when using a public device. I had once received a login alert from an unknown location and quickly reset my Facebook credentials.

One Time Password

There is a reason why most of the internet services use OPT as a layer of security and authentication. Using the same for Facebook will blanket your account from intrusive attacks since the attacker would be needing an OTP to gain access. The only downside to this is that the login process gets a bit tedious. If you are in the US you can always send out a message to 32665 with the keyword “OTP”, note that not all carriers support this and the number you send the message from needs should be the one linked with your Facebook. The code needs to be entered in the password section of the Facebook login page.

Security Keys

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OTP and Code Generators indeed add an extra layer of security but what it the two-factor authentication can be simplified further? Well, Facebook has recently announced the support for Security Keys for Facebook login. With this one can register a physical security key to their account so that the next time they can login by a simple touch on the hardware.The keys will support Universal 2nd Factor (U2F) standard and it protects the account from multitudes of probable attacks.

Buying a Security Key has advantages of its own with one being that it can also be used with other supported online accounts and furthermore the same security key can be used to login to your computer with relative ease. Also, since one doesn’t punch in the password manually the account is usually immune to phishing attacks. In case you have an NFC-enabled Android smartphone and Google Authenticator installed you can also use the logins on the mobile site. Security Keys can be bought online from companies like Yubico and you can also pair any other security key provided its fortified with Universal 2nd Factor standard.

Code Generator

This is one extra feature that works similar to OTP but without access to text messages (SMS) and internet connection. Apart from login, the code generator can also be used for resetting the password. However, Code Generator is only available for the Facebook app on Android and iOS.

Methods to Recover your Account

With the meteoric rise in the hacking attacks, it sure helps to know how you can recover the Facebook account and set the things right.

Using Trusted Contacts

This is one of the most efficient ways to recover your Facebook account especially when you are locked out completely. Click on “Forgot your Password” and if you don’t have access to the email click on “No longer have access to these.” At this juncture add a new email ID or a contact that you currently have access to. Click on “Reveal My Trusted Contacts” and type the name of your contact. Facebook displays a set of information along with a special security code that only your friend can access. However, you need to spring back in action and do this as soon as the account is hacked else there is a fair chance that hacker might initiate this process himself and lock you out further.

Using Email/Security Questions

This method is useful only if you still have control over the email address linked with Facebook. Click on “Forgot Password” to trigger a password reset mail which can be further used to gain control of the account. However, one also needs to remember the answers to the security questions selected while signing up for Facebook.

What if your Facebook account has been hacked and is spewing out spam?

This is yet another possibility that literally locks you out of the Facebook account and since the credentials have been already tempered with its quiet a task to regain control of the account. Don’t fret as you can report that your account is hacked by heading over to this link. In this particular recovery method, you will be able to use an old password to recover the account.


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Senior Author

Mahit Huilgol is a Mechanical Engineering graduate and is a Technology and Automobile aficionado. He ditched the Corporate boardroom wars in the favor for technology battle ground. Also a foodie by heart and loves both the edible chips and the non-edible silicon chips.