anonymous reader writes: secure facebook

I have email, AOL IM, Google chat, MSN chat, and a mobile phone with unlimited texting. Somehow, according to my friends, I’m still the asshole who fell off the face of the earth because I’m not on Facebook. It seems I either sign up or continue to be the guy no one has heard from in awhile. So I’ve now caved under the enormous high school style peer pressure and setup my Facebook account.

In order to secure your account and protect your privacy, I recommend you only use it to keep in touch with friends, then lock it down like a fortress and put little to nothing inside.

In addition to having a strong password I strongly recommend you do the following.

Secure Browsing (HTTPS) in Facebook. If you connect to Facebook using a public WiFi, for example, this will help prevent someone from eavesdropping and seeing all your traffic. The one draw back is Facebook will disable this feature when visiting unsecured pages and you’ll need to re-enable it if this happens.

Login Notifications – This will send you an email or text message whenever an unauthorized log on attempt is made to your account.

Login Approvals – Turning this feature on will prevent someone from logging into your account with another computer even if they knew your password.

Privacy settings – Set your privacy to “Custom” on the left bar then go into the Customize settings”. Change Posts By Me” and “Permission to comment on your posts to friends” to “Friends Only”. Change everything else to “Only Me” or “Disabled. Disabling everything and opening them up one by one will ensure everything your sharing is a decision you made willingly and your aware of the risks.

If you do decide to allow anything else on this page I highly recommend you only allow friends and not, under any circumstance,  friends of friends. You’ll be opening yourself up to a huge security hole when trying to protect your privacy from unknown people or businesses.

Once you’ve collected most of your friends change your name in account settings so unwanted people can’t find you easily.

Finally, be smart about what you post on Facebook or better yet, don’t. Unlike the BS the gym teacher told you in high school it really will go on your permanent record.