How to Secure Your Facebook Account From Hackers

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In this guide you’ll learn how to secure your Facebook account to protect it from hackers.

The steps below help ensure that your Facebook account will not be compromised by scammers, identity thieves, criminals, or online stalkers.

Facebook offers a LONG list of security settings. But the names and location seem to change all the time. This makes the process of securing your account very confusing.

In this guide we walk you through a easy-to-follow process to implement all the necessary settings to ensure your Facebook account is as secure as possible.

Enabling these settings is easiest using the desktop version of Facebook. But this guide includes instructions for both desktop and mobile.

Securing Your Facebook Account From Hackers

There are more than a handful of ways to hack into someone’s Facebook account. Hackers and scammers use these methods to steal identities, commit crimes, and run phishing scams.

It pays to spend a few minutes securing your Facebook account against these types of hacks. The following security settings will help deter most hackers, as they prefer easy targets.

Choose a Strong Facebook Password

The very first thing you should do to secure your Facebook account is to choose a strong password. If you have a simple or easy-to-guess Facebook password, the odds of getting your Facebook account hacked go up significantly.

It’s best to avoid obvious passwords like birthdays and names. If you want truly unique password, the best solution is to use a strong password generator.

Setting Your Facebook Account to Friends ONLY

Another important step in securing your Facebook account is changing your Privacy Settings so that only Facebook friends can view your activity.

Instructions for Facebook Desktop

Follow the steps below to set your account to Friends Only from the desktop version of Facebook:

  1. Click on your profile image in the top right corner
  2. From the dropdown menu click “Settings & Privacy“,
  3. Then click “Settings
  4. From the menu on the left click “Privacy
  5. Under “Your Activity“, click the “Edit” button next to “Who Can See Your Future Posts?
  6. Select “Friends” from the dropdown menu.
  7. Next click “Limit Past Posts” next to “Limit the audience for posts you’ve shared with friends of friends or Public?”

You can further secure your account by changing the “Who can see the people, Pages and lists you follow?” setting to “Friends“. This ensures only your friends can see what pages and people you follow.

Below is a screen shot for reference.

Instructions for the Facebook App

Below are the instructions to change your privacy settings from the Facebook app:

  1. Click the 3 bars in the top right corner to access your profile menu.
  2. Tap the Settings gear icon
  3. Tap Profile Settings.
  4. Tap Privacy.
  5. Scroll down to “Your Activity”
  6. Tap “Who can see your future posts”
  7. Set to “Friends” and tap “Save”
  8. Tap “Limit Who Can See Past Posts”
  9. Tap “Limit Past Posts” and tap “Limit past posts” to confirm.

For additional privacy, it is also important to limit who can see your stories and future reels. Any kind of video or pictures shared publicly could be used to identify your location.

This can be done tapping “Who can see your stories?” and setting it to “Friends. Then tap “Who can see your future reels?” and set it to “Friends”.

Now let’s move on to the next step.

Hiding Your Look-Up Contact Details

In this section we’ll be hiding your Look-up contact details. By default you Look-up contact details are set to public.

These details include your email address and phone number that you provided when setting up your Facebook account. To ensure the highest level of security, these should be set to “Only Me”.

You could also choose to set this to “Friends”, but there is one good reason not to do this. Occasionally scammers will hijack the name and picture of someone you know and send you a friend request. If you approve it, they will have access to your contact information. So it’s best to use “Only Me” for these two settings.

Hiding Your Look-Up Contact Details on Facebook Desktop

Follow the steps below to change your look-up information to “Only Me” on Facebook desktop:

  1. Click on your profile image in the top right corner
  2. From the dropdown menu click “Settings & Privacy
  3. Then click “Settings
  4. From the menu on the left click “Privacy
  5. Scroll down to the section titled “How people find and contact you
  6. Next to “Who can look you up using the email address you provided?” click Edit
  7. Choose “Only Me” and click “Close
  8. Next to “Who can look you up using the phone number you provided?” click Edit
  9. Choose “Only Me” and click “Close

Changing Your Look-Up Contact Details on Facebook Mobile

  1. Tap your profile image in the top right corner
  2. From the dropdown menu click “Settings & Privacy
  3. Then click “Settings
  4. From the menu on the left click “Privacy
  5. Scroll down to the section titled “How people find and contact you
  6. Tap “Who can look you up using the email address you provided?
  7. Tap “Only Me” and click “Back
  8. Next to “Who can look you up using the phone number you provided?” click Edit
  9. Tap “Only Me” and click “Close

Hide Your Friends List & Disallow Search Engines

Hiding your friends list ensures that no one can see who you are friends with on Facebook. It also helps to protect the privacy of your friends.

Disallowing search engines ensures that your profile won’t show up if someone searches for you on Google, Bing, or other search engines. This eliminates a backdoor method of someone finding your Facebook profile by searching.

Hide Friends List & Disable Search Engines Facebook Desktop

Follow the instructions below to hide your friends list and disable search engine linking to your page from the Facebook browser interface.

  1. Click on your profile image in the top right corner
  2. From the dropdown menu click “Settings & Privacy
  3. Then click “Settings
  4. From the menu on the left click “Privacy
  5. Scroll down to the section titled How people find and contact you
  6. Next to “Who can see your friends list?” click Edit
  7. Choose “Friends” and click “Close
  8. Next to “Do you want search engines outside of Facebook to link to your profile?” click Edit
  9. Choose “No” and click “Close

Hide Friends List & Disable Search Engines Facebook Mobile

Follow the instructions below to hide your friends list and disable search engine linking to your page in the Facebook mobile app.

  1. Tap on your profile image in the top right corner
  2. Tap the “Settings” gear icon
  3. Tap Profiles Settings, just above your name.
  4. Tap “Privacy
  5. Scroll down to the section titled How people find and contact you
  6. Tap “Who can see your friends list?
  7. Choose “Friends” and tap the “Back” arrow
  8. Tap “Do you want search engines outside of Facebook to link to your profile?
  9. Tap the button to disable, and then tap “disable” in the popup menu

Hide Your Personal (About) Information

When setting up your account Facebook asks for a great deal of personal information. This includes your home address, where you went to college, your date of birth, your current relationship status, and your email address.

In the context of some old friend finding you and seeing what you’ve been up to this looks perfectly innocent. But scammers or stalkers can use this information to cause you harm.

Want an example?

59% of people use their name or birthday in their password. So let’s secure that information to ensure we’re the only ones who can see it.

Hiding Personal Info on Facebook Desktop

To hide your personal information on Facebook desktop, follow the instructions below:

  1. Click on your profile image in the top right corner
  2. From the dropdown menu on your name.
  3. Click on the “About” tab under your profile picture towards the top
  4. From here you can select whichever information you want hidden. At a minimum your date of birth and any location data should be set to “Friends”.

Hiding Personal Info on Facebook Mobile

To hide your personal information on the Facebook mobile app, follow the instructions below:

  1. Click on your profile image in the top right corner
  2. Next tap your name, next to your profile image
  3. Scroll down and tap “See your About info”
  4. From here you can select whichever information you want hidden. At a minimum your date of birth and any location data should be set to “Friends”.

The more you hide the less of your personal details will be available for scammers and identity thieves.

Reviewing Tags

Tags offer a sneaky way for people other than your friends to view your posts. If you post a photo or video, your friends can then tag people in that post. Now the friends of ANYONE tagged in your post can see YOUR post.

But we’re going to change that by enabling the “Review tags” setting. This allows you to review any tags your friends make, before allowing people other than your friends to see the post.

Enabling Tag Review on Facebook Desktop

Follow the steps below to enable Tag Reviewing on Facebook desktop:

  1. Click on your profile image in the top right corner
  2. From the dropdown menu click “Settings & Privacy”
  3. Then click “Settings”
  4. From the Settings menu on the left click “Privacy”
  5. From the Privacy menu click “Profile and Tagging”
  6. Enable Tag Review by clicking the toggle button.

Enabling Tag Review on Facebook Mobile

Follow the steps below to enable Tag Reviewing on the Facebook mobile app:

  1. Tap on your profile image in the top right corner
  2. Tap the “Settings” gear icon
  3. Tap Profiles Settings, just above your name.
  4. Tap “Profile and tagging”
  5. Scroll down to the section titled “Reviewing
  6. Tap “Who can see your friends list?
  7. Tap “Review tags people add to your posts before the tags appear on Facebook
  8. Tap to enable “Review Tags on Your Posts
  9. Tap Back

Now anytime a friend tags someone else in one of your posts, you will get the option to approve the tag or not.

Enabling 2-Factor Authentication (2FA)

Facebook security is vastly enhanced by enabling two factor authentication. Once enabled a hacker would need access to SMS texts on your phone in addition to knowing your Facebook password.

You can also use a third-party 2-factor authentication app for an added layer of security. This will thwart any hacker who has managed to intercept SMS messages to your phone.

Even if you choose not to use a third-party app, 2-factor authentication goes a long way to helping to secure your Facebook account.

Follow the steps below to enable two factor authentication:

  1. Click on your profile image
  2. From the drop-down menu click “Settings & Privacy
  3. Then click “Settings
  4. On the left hand menu click “Security & Login”
  5. Scroll down to the Two-Factor Authentication section and click “Edit”
  6. Enter your password if prompted
  7. Select the authentication method you want to use. Text is the easiest.
  8. Enter your mobile phone number

Once enabled, any Facebook login attempt will require a security code that is sent to your mobile phone.

Don’t Accept Random Friend Requests

This step might seem obvious, but you should never accept friend requests from people you don’t know. Oftentimes these are just scammers who will send you Facebook messages with malicious links.

Conclusion

A hacked Facebook account is a major inconvenience. But hackers are always looking for people whose Facebook settings make them easy targets.

The Facebook security measures listed above will dramatically reduce the odds of your account getting hacked.

About the Author

Jason has over 25 years in the information and internet security industry. He is passionate about smartphones, gadgets, and technology. He also got a solid background in programming and software.  This includes Python, C++, app development and more.

jason thompson