Top 5 security mistakes to avoid on Facebook

Facebook is the world’s largest social network, with more profiles and more unique visits than any other social media network, and most other websites (except the monsters such as Google). When using your Facebook profile you may feel safe, but some people are targeted by hackers and cyber criminals. This is for two reasons, firstly, the information you put on your Facebook profile makes stealing your identity a lot easier. Secondly, a popular profile has an SEO (Search Engine Optimization) benefit that a hacker may enjoy if he/she gains control of your Facebook profile.

Facebook Security Mistakes

1 – Stop giving away your answers to your secret questions

This is a security mistake that too many people make on Facebook. You may be able to regain control of your Facebook account using your mobile phone number or email account, but a lot of accounts (including your email account) need a secret answer. The secret questions are often based around information that you can remember, therefore it is often about your history or family. That is why so many people give away their secret answers on Facebook.

It is easy to find your mother’s maiden name, the street you grew up on, the name of your first child, etc, all on Facebook. You need to take a good hard look at the security risks you are subjecting yourself to on Facebook. Thanks to Facebook, it has never been easier to steal somebody’s identity. Keep this in mind as you add things to your Facebook account and add things to your profile.

 2 – Do not causally announce that you use the same password for all your accounts

This sort of mistake is what hackers look for. A hacker is not really an opportunist, but he/she is going to look for ways to make his/her job easier. If you announce on social media (just in conversation) that you use the same password for every account, then you have just painted a big target on your account.

A hacker is going to devote more time and attention to getting your password, because he or she knows that if he/she gets on, then he/she gains access to a lot more of your accounts. Do not give hackers any sort of clues. Do not talk about passwords online and never write your password (for anything) on your Facebook account. Even if you give a password for a completely unrelated account, the hacker can still learn a lot. Such as, if you use all capital letters, if you use words and numbers, if you create long or short passwords.

3 – Having a password that has words in it

Lots of Facebook users have a password that has words in it. Some people try to be clever and mix them with numbers, such as “apples4americans” or “cats2times.” But, all they are doing it making their password easier to hack. You should never use any sort of words in your passwords because cracking programs (brute force programs) try lots of different word combinations and jumbles before moving on to scrambled letters and numbers. By adding words into your password, you have just made it a whole lot easier to hack your account.

4 – Not changing your password in a 72 day cycle

You need to change your Facebook password every 72 days at the most. Every time you change your password, you set the hacker back to square one. The good thing is that the hacker does not know he/she needs to go back to square one, so he/she will keep trying and failing. Changing your password may not seem like a big deal, and it may seem like a hassle, but it is the number one pet peeve of hackers. If you keep changing your password at least once every 72 days, then you automatically make your Facebook account more secure.

5 – Do not announce that you are going on holiday

This has got to be one of the dumbest things a Facebook user can do, and thousands of them do it all the time. They talk about how excited they are about their holiday and tell the whole world that they are going on holiday. It is bad enough that people announce when they are going to be at work, but announcing when you are going to be on holiday is lunacy. You are basically offering your home and all its possessions to any malcontent on Facebook, not to mention every hacker that has ever hacked your friend’s accounts, or the people who are looking over your friend’s shoulders in a café or at college.

This post is written by Kate Funk. She is a professional blogger and writer at Tutorsclass. She specializes in topics of interest to techno geeks and networking enthusiasts.