Facebook Security and Information

Image representing Facebook as depicted in Cru...

Image via CrunchBase

The idea for this blog entry started this morning after 3 or 4 cups of coffee and 5 episodes of Futurama on Netflix.

I began by creating an event to let all of my friends know about a recent change on Facebook.  I started searching for other things about facebook that I might be unaware of.  I was partly motivated also by the staggering amount of spam and malicious apps and links being posted to my page by friends who are sometimes completely unaware of the posts or unaware that the posts have malicious links.

Here are some things I found:

1.  I Can’t See All My Friends’ Posts

Have you noticed that you are only seeing certain people’s statuses over and over again? I looked this up myself guys so it is not a spam or malicious.

1. At the top of your Homepage (not your profile, your Home Page) it says “Top News” and “Most Recent”.

2. Click on the small arrow (triangle facing down) next to “Most Recent”.

3. Go down to “Edit Options” at the bottom and click on it.

4. A box will pop-up saying “Edit News Feed Settings”

5. The first thing says “Show Posts From:”

6. You can choose either “Friends and Pages You Interact With Most” (if you have commented on, left a message for, wrote on someone’s wall they will show up in your feed, but everyone else will be excluded) or you can choose “All of Your Friends and Pages”.

7. You can also view and change whose (People and Pages and Apps) posts you have previously chose to ignore.

8. By clicking on the arrow you can also choose to only see Game posts, Photos, Statuses, etc.

2.  Check Facebook Privacy with Online Tools

This information comes from: Melvins Inquisitive Mind

Privacy Check – http://www.rabidgremlin.com/fbprivacy/ 

Privacy Check is a nifty app that evaluates your privacy settings and gives you a score out of 21. The details of the score reveal which objects of your Facebook account are publicly accessible.

Privacy Defender – http://apps.facebook.com/privacydefender/

PrivacyDefender is a Facebook application that evaluates your Facebook privacy settings. You need to drag its bookmarklet to your bookmarks toolbar. When you access your Facebook account, click this bookmarklet to evaluate your settings and view which information is viewable by whom.

ReclaimPrivacy – http://www.reclaimprivacy.org/

ReclaimPrivacy is another tool that works similar to PrivacyDefender. You get a bookmarklet which you need to click once you are on your Facebook’s privacy settings page. You privacy settings are evaluated and shown to you.

Zesty Facebook Privacy Checker – http://zesty.ca/facebook/

Zesty Facebook Privacy Checker is a useful tool which takes in your Facebook username. It then displays a comprehensive list of all your Facebook content that is set to public.

Save Face – http://www3.untangle.com/saveface

SaveFace is a simple bookmarklet that evaluates your privacy settings. Unlike the tools mentioned above, it can even restore your settings to friends only. Here is how you use SaveFace:

  1. Drag the SaveFace bookmarklet to your bookmarks toolbar.
  2. You need to enter your privacy settings, and click on the SaveFace bookmarklet. Your settings will then be reset to “friends only.” This means that only your Facebook friends will be able to view your Facebook contact information, search settings, friends, tags and connections, personal information and posts. SaveFace’s script will take a little time to run, so you will have to be patient.
  3. Once the process is through, you can use anyone of the above mentioned tools to verify that your data is set to “friends only.”

3.  One Time Passwords

Facebook is launching one-time passwords to make it safer to use public computers in places like hotels, cafes or airports. If you have any concerns about security of the computer you’re using while accessing Facebook, Facebook can text you a one-time password to use instead of your regular password.

Simply text “otp” to 32665 on your mobile phone, and you’ll immediately receive a password that can be used only once and expires in 20 minutes. In order to access this feature, you’ll need a mobile phone number in your account. We’re rolling this out gradually, and it should be available to everyone in the coming weeks.

4.  Remote Sign Out and Account Settings

The ability to sign out of Facebook remotely is now available to everyone just like what GMail had introduced a while ago. These session controls can be useful if you log into Facebook from a friend’s phone or computer and then forget to sign out. From your Account Settings, you can check if you’re still logged in on other devices and remotely log out.

Under the Account Security section of your Account Settings page you’ll see all of your active sessions, along with information about each session. In the unlikely event that someone accesses your account without your permission, you can also shut down the unauthorized login before resetting your password and taking other steps to secure your account and computer.

When people log in to Facebook, the system will regularly prompt them to keep their security information updated. If you ever lose access to your account, having this information helps Facebook verify who you are and get you back into your account quickly.

I highly recommend the last two steps to be able to keep your account safe at all times.

Looks like Facebook is reacting that we want more control over what we share on Facebook—to manage exactly who sees it and to understand exactly where it goes. But is it going to be enough, all over the internet people are talking about the demise of Facebook but Facebook seems to be appearing in more websites, blogs and journals as the login method or the like button. We need to see how things are going to work out in the next year for Facebook.


  1. Pingback: How to Check Your Privacy Settings & What You’re Really Sharing with Your Games & Apps « yourfacebookconnect

  2. Heya! I just wanted to ask if you ever have any issues
    with hackers? My last blog (wordpress) was hacked and I ended up losing months
    of hard work due to no data backup. Do you have any solutions to protect against hackers?

    • Sorry I haven’t been on in awhile. My health was bad, I haven’t seen any problems so far. I could research it but it would be easy to research it yourself. That is how I learn everything I do on computers. I taught myself HTML when the internet became mainstream and then I taught myself how to fix almost anything on my computer, etc.

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