Facebook Security for Parents and Teens

Facebook offers a hefty amount of security measures that parents and teens should know.

The Login

  • Social authentication. A hacker will have a harder time hacking into your Facebook account if he or she must identify your friends via photos. This verification process is social authentication, and it’s easier to use than having to remember another password.
  • ID verification. A new user must create a security question with an answer. An extra layer of security is achieved when the user adds their smartphone number so they can receive a text message with a code.
  • One-time password. You can get a one-time password; just send a text to 22605.
  • Login approval. Suppose someone logs into your account with an unfamiliar device. A code will be sent to your mobile. The user will need to verify the login next time they try to log in.
  • Session classifier. Every login is verified using details like your device and location.

Online

  • Application classifier. This checks out application activity to see if it’s suspicious.
  • User action classifier. This detects when a user’s behavior is suspicious.
  • Link scanner. Every day, Facebook scans over a trillion links. Every link is compared against not only Facebook’s, but also other Internet security companies’ databases of known malicious or spammy links.
  • Photo DNA. About 300 million photos are uploaded every day to Facebook, and Facebook compares these to its blacklist database of images from international, federal and state law enforcement agencies.

The Logout

  • Hacking suspicion. If you suspect something fishy, you can manually shut Facebook down and reset your password.
  • Login alert. You can approve the device you use to log in, though you can get a security notification if you log in from an unapproved device.
  • Guardian angel. If you can’t gain access to your account, your friends can receive a code. Then pre-select these individuals from the account settings page.
  • Roadblock. Your profile will be locked by Facebook and scanned with security software, should your account be infiltrated with malware. A cleaned-up account will be certified by Facebook.
  • Remote logout is available.

Considerations for Teens

The age setting. Many kids lie about their age on social media. Have your child sign into Facebook and go to the profile “About” page to make sure their birthdate is correct.

Liking ads. Warn you kids about what can happen if they “like” an ad. Liking an ad will likely result in receiving updates from the ad page, and the user’s name could become associated with future renditions of the ad. Is this what your teen wants? Ask your teen how important it is for them to “like” an ad just because the ad has this feature.

Unliking. Once you “like” something, doesn’t mean you can’t unlike it. To find out what your teen has liked, visit the profile page and click “More,” “Likes,” then “Other Likes.” Hover at the upper-right corner; a pop-up box will result with a choice to unlike. Learn of your teen’s apps by going to Facebook’s main page to click on “Apps,” located on the news feed’s left side. Here you can disconnect applications.

Flag ads. Think an ad is inappropriate? Flag it by clicking the small “X” or down-arrow located at the top right of the unappealing ad. Click “I don’t want to see this,” then “It’s offensive or inappropriate,” and then click the reason.

Free games may mean free unwanted software. Warn your teens that downloading a free game can also download a lot of undesirable clutter.

Although Facebook now uses SSL encryption with login and user sessions, it’s still a good idea to use an additional layer of protection on wireless sessions. Hotspot Shield encrypts your entire web surfing on any site, no matter its security settings. 

Robert Siciliano is an Identity Theft Expert to Hotspot Shield. He is the author of 99 Things You Wish You Knew Before Your Identity Was Stolen See him discussing internet and wireless security on Good Morning America. Disclosures.

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