Why It Is Important to Secure Your Facebook Account

by Geoff Whiting

Facebook provides a social outlet to the world -- which comes with both positive and negative elements. Securing your Facebook account can help you keep predators away, whether they are after your bank account, your property or even you. A secure account also grants your career some protection, limiting your content’s exposure to potential employers or advertisers. A secure account can keep you and your reputation safe.

Securing Your Account

To secure your Facebook account, you’ll need to adjust settings around your friends and apps. Limiting friends is largely personal preference, but it is recommended to trim down a friends list that contains acquaintances or people you aren’t very familiar with. Using Facebook’s lists, you can limit who can see which updates you post, which is recommended to prevent your location information from falling into the wrong hands. For the same reason, it's also a good idea to not let apps automatically post on your behalf.

Property Safety

Facebook manages your online life, so it might not be odd to think about how it can impact your house or your car. Insurers like Allstate, however, are recommending that clients not publish information about upcoming vacations or while they’re on vacation because it can make their homes targets for burglaries. Limiting your posts to close friends can also provide a safety net, since they can keep an eye on your property and notify you if anyone is seen near your home.

Personal Safety

You and your family will also be personally protected by limiting when apps or posts share location data. When you or an app checks you into a location on Facebook, the service is set to post that data by default. If you make these posts public and don’t restrict when you check in, it is easy for others to figure out your family’s daily schedule. If someone is looking to do you harm, public posts provide an easy way to intercept you when you’re alone.

Career Implications

Facebook is also commonly used as a sounding board for political preferences, personal statements and to share photos of parties. These posts help your friends get to know you better and stay abreast of what’s happening in your life, but public posts can also be found by potential or current employers. Companies are reluctant to hire or keep employees that do or say things that go against the company brand. Facebook-related firings aren’t limited to particular industries either, impacting waitresses, school bus drivers, police dispatchers and even people faking a sick day.

About the Author

Geoff Whiting is a writer and copy editor who has specialized in business technology, consumer electronics and research reports since 2007. He has written for national magazines like "American Shipper" and "BIC Magazine," has written daily news articles for FierceMarkets, and has crafted research reports for Rider Research, Intel and Spotify.

Photo Credits

  • photo_camera Ethan Miller/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images