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How to avoid being hacked on Facebook

Chances are, you’ve had a friend request on Facebook from someone you’re already connected to. A lot of people aren’t sure what’s happening so they accept. That’s a hacker who’s trying to get your personal information by posing as a friend. Then there’s Fake News and sometimes weird messages in Messenger. So we thought we’d share some tips to help you avoid being hacked.

Over the past decade, I’ve helped more than a few people out with being hacked and having their identities stolen. In addition, I’ve trained law enforcement.

Birthdays

The very first thing to do is change your birthdate! Go do it now. Make yourself a year younger, change the day and month as well. DOn’t post what the new date is on your profile either, or in Messenger. Just change it and keep it quiet. This is one of the most powerful things you can do. The only people who should or need to know your real birthdate are a bank, your mobile device carrier, healthcare provider and the government. Facebook doesn’t need to know your real birthdate.

Two Factor Authentication

It sounds complicated, but it’s easy to do, as long as you have a mobile phone. Some will let you use a personal email too. Mobile phones are better. When you log in to Facebook, a text message with a code will be sent to your phone which you enter as a second step. It’s amazing how this helps.

No Quizzes or Lists of Things

You’ve probably seen those quizzes to test your intelligence or knowledge of countries? Maybe you’ve been invited to share a list of favourite music albums or places you’ve visited? All of those can be and are, ways to get information about you to try and hack passwords or determine secret questions you may have with a bank. It’s fun sometimes to answer these things, but be aware of the dangers.

There’s no 100% way to be secure online these days, but there are some steps you can take to mitigate these risks. The types of techniques I’ve indicated here are called “social engineering” and they’re getting ever more sophisticated. Practice good password hygiene as well, such as using a mix of letters and numbers and adding symbols as well can help.

More Insights: Check out this informative article on including digital in your will.

Author: Giles Crouch is Group Publisher for Silver Magazine’s parent brand, HUM@Nmedia and is also a digital anthropologist. He contributes to Optimyz Magazine as well.