Stay safe on Facebook

How to Protect Your Facebook Account from Spammers?

  • Review your security settings: Check out Facebook's information on setting your privacy settings to be sure you aren't sharing personal information with strangers. Look here for information on what can be found publicly in search engines.

  • Who Can Contact You:  Click on the padlock icon on the top toolbar (on the right hand side), then click ‘Who can contact me’.

    Basic Filtering:  By default this is set up as ‘Basic Filtering’ to allow friends and people you may know the opportunity to send you a message. If you want only friends to be able to contact you, you can increase the filtering on your inbox. Other messages will then be diverted to your ‘other’ folder which you can access from the Messages screen.

    Strict Filtering: To do this, click ‘Strict Filtering’ under ‘Whose messages do I want filtered into my Inbox?’  From this area of the screen you can also limit who is able to send you a friend request, choosing between everyone or just friends of your friends.

  • Friend Requests:  Never accept Facebook friend requests from unknown people.  

    Scammers find your information through Facebook or other social media accounts. Some set up fake accounts and send out friend requests. When you accept the request, they can view your friends and personal and contact information. Other scammers rely on social media users not locking down their privacy settings, so basic information, such as your name, email address and friends' names, is publicly available.

  • Links: Don't click on strange links, even if they're from friends. Notify the person who sent you the email if you see something suspicious.  For example, you receive an email that appears to be sent by a friend or family member. The message addresses you by name, but the content is strange. Usually, it's just a link to a website. If you click on it, you could end up downloading malware to your computer. 

  • Notifications: Consider enabling login notifications, so you will know when someone uses a new device to access your account.

  • Public Wifi:  When accessing Facebook from public wi-fi in places like hotels and airports, text "otp" to 32665 to receive a one-time password to your account.

  • Timeline Posts:  Make sure only your friends can see your timeline posts.   While certain elements of your profile are viewed by everyone, many other aspects of your timeline can be blocked.

    Future Posts:
    Make sure all your future posts are locked down. Click on the padlock icon on the top toolbar (on the right hand side), then click ‘Who can see my stuff?’.

    Under ‘Who can see my future posts’, choose from:  Public. Friends, Only me, Custom (which allows you to limit some of your friends from seeing your posts).  Pick what’s best for you, but make sure ‘Public’ isn’t selected. Whatever you choose will then become the default every time you post an update (though you still have the option of selectively changing this for each individual update you post in the future).

    Previous Posts: Click the arrowhead on the top toolbar (on the right hand side). Choose  'Settings' > 'Privacy Settings'

  • Login Approvals:  You can choose to have an extra layer of security when accessing your account from an unknown browser. Facebook will send a code to your phone which you will then need to use to login.

    Click the arrowhead at the top right of any page and choose ‘Settings’, then ‘Security’ from the left hand menu, then 'Login' approvals. Check the box that says ‘Require a security code to access my account from unknown browsers’. Facebook will then take you through the process of setting up login approvals so click on ‘Get Started’ to begin.

    Once you have set up login approvals you will only need to enter a code when you try to login from a new device. It is a feature that makes it that much harder for a hacker to gain access to your account and as such is well worth enabling.  Note: if your browser clears your history on exit, or has private browsing switched on, you may need to enter a code every time you log in.

  • Privacy Settings:  Scammers are tapping into the personal data available through social networks to pose as your friends in fraudulent emails. Watch out for these personalized scam messages and take steps to prevent them.

    Click Privacy on the left hand menu, and under ‘Who can see my stuff’, click ‘Limit past posts’. From here you can change all your past post visibility to ‘Friends’.

  • About Us Section:  It’s also worth checking out the visibility of the stuff listed under the ‘About’ section of your profile.

    On your timeline, click ‘Update info’ and then click ‘Edit’ next to the area you wish to change the visibility for. Choose from the options of ‘Public’, ‘Friends’, ‘Only me’ or a 'Custom' list of people.