Are You Logging Into Facebook Safely?

May 4, 2013 13:57:41Posted by John Skorick, MyAKA Founder & CEO


Are You Logging Into Facebook Safely?

How often do you log in to Facebook? Do you sign in once in the morning and then stay logged in all day, or do you frequently find yourself entering your password over and over? Though it may seem like a small concern, logging in to social networking sites can be a risky process if not done correctly. Entering the wrong password too many times can get you locked out of your account, which is a minor nuisance, but there are other log-in mistakes you can make that could cause you to compromise your internet security. Let's review some ways that you can make sure you're signing in to your social media accounts safely. 

Be Direct
According to an article from Wired Magazine, the most secure way to sign into a social media account from a web browser is to go directly to the site's address. For example, when logging in to Facebook, you should direct your browser to Facebook.com, where you'll immediately be faced with the log-in fields. This may seem like a no-brainer, but the truth is, many people  use search engines to navigate their way to social media sites. According to the news source, around 151 million people search for the term "Facebook login" every month on Google. 

Using a search engine to find social media log-in pages is risky, because scammers frequently create nefarious pages that use keywords like "Facebook login" to trick users into clicking on their link. Once there, web surfers will be faced with a number of advertisements and text links that could lead them to install harmful viruses on their computers and mobile devices. 

Sharing Your Password
Recently, Facebook announced a new service to help people who have been locked out of their accounts. It's known as "Trusted Contacts," and it makes it easy for Facebook users to rely on friends and family to help them re-gain access to their accounts, writes Eliza Kern at GigaOM. Essentially, Trusted Contacts allows you to select a few people who you know well, and if you are locked out of your account, Facebook will send security codes to those individuals, allowing you to log back in. 

This service should be beneficial, especially for people who may feel tempted to share passwords with family and friends if they are worried about forgetting them and getting locked out. It's never a good idea to share such sensitive information, even with those you know well. While you may be very cautious to never write down your password or put it in an email, your friends and family may not be so wise. 

Many services like Facebook allow you to attach a mobile number to your social media profile. Similar to Trusted Contacts, this allows you to receive a code via text message, thus providing reentry into your social network. While this service can be beneficial, it's best to never include your primary phone number on your Facebook profile. If you must list your digits on the page, use a disposable phone number that you can replace if need be. 

You may not think much of the log-in process, but it's important that you guard your passwords with care.