Facebook Safety and Security Tips

Facebook and 'like' button logosFacebook is a great way to reconnect with old friends and distant family members, get your daily motivational advice or cat video, and keep up with what's happening in the world. And while Facebook offers plenty of opportunities for fun and positive connections, it also presents some cybersecurity dangers—and as we continue to hear in the news, it presents some privacy concerns as well.

As with anything that might present danger, it's important to be knowledgeable and prudent. Here are some steps for Facebook safety:

  • Keep your contact information private. You don't want strangers knowing where you live or having your personal phone numbers. If you’d like to further protect yourself, you can opt out of allowing your Facebook page to appear in search engine results in your account’s settings.
  • Don't make announcements of when you're not home or upload pictures of you on vacation. That's like taking out an ad and telling potential burglars you are not home.
  • Limit who can see your status updates. Your privacy settings allow you to control who can view your posts and timeline. To access your privacy settings, click "Account" at the top of any page and select "Privacy Settings" from the dropdown menu.
  • Choose your friends wisely. Accept only friend requests from people you know or people who know those close to you.
  • Block troublemakers. If someone is bothering you on Facebook, block them. To do so, visit your block list in your "Privacy Settings" and then select the "Report/Block" option under the gear icon on the right side of their timeline.
  • Don't arrange to meet strangers. Stranger danger is not just for kids. Be cautious about who you choose to meet in person.
  • Share carefully. Don't share any pictures that you wouldn't want others to share.
  • Know that whatever you post could be out there forever. Remember that some employers actually look on prospective employee's Facebook pages to learn more about them; so don't post anything that's unprofessional.
  • Be informed. Keep abreast of any online scams.
  • Update your account. Change your password frequently.
  • Don't click on links from people you don't know. You should use the same level of caution you do when opening email attachments from strangers — don't do it.
  • Report any instances of fraud or inappropriate behavior. Keep in mind that reports are confidential. Reporting someone for harassment will automatically add them to your "Block" list.
  • Protect young children. If you have children, be sure to monitor their Facebook behavior and to educate them about the dangers of social networking.

For additional resources to help stay safe on Facebook, be sure to visit Facebook’s Safety Center at https://www.facebook.com/safety/tools.