“Get Smart” About Facebook - 10/13/11

Recent stories in the news reveal embarrassing moments in technology where messages meant for private sharing were set to public display. It pays to “Get Smart” about Facebook by understanding the technology before using it, especially when there are 400 million Facebook users worldwide.

SecurePurdue advises users to become familiar with advanced Facebook features to help manage their security and to help keep their Facebook login secure.

You can view your account settings from any page in Facebook by clicking the down arrow next to Home in the top right corner to open the drop-down window; then clicking Account Settings, which provides links to both your privacy settings and security settings. The list on the left side of the Account Settings page provides a link to Security. Click it to view your current Security Settings. Clicking the adjacent Edit buttons allows you to modify those settings.

Other Facebook considerations are:

• Use Facebook in secure mode (HTTPS, not just HTTP).
For Secure Browsing, select Edit to enable browsing Facebook on a secure connection. Click Save Changes.

• Monitor account activity.
If you notice posts, status updates or changes to your account that you did not make, your account may have been compromised. Change your password immediately and report suspicious activity to Facebook administrators.
Check Active Sessions routinely to see where your account may be being accessed from. You can end active sessions that are not from locations that you recognize as places you are or have been.

• Log in at
Sometimes scammers will set up a fake page to look like a Facebook login page, hoping to get you to enter your email address and password. Make sure you check the page’s URL (web address) before entering your login information. When in doubt, you can always type “” into your browser to get back to the real Facebook site.

Accessing Facebook requires the use of what should be routine, safe practices, but some are worth mentioning again as a reminder.

• Pick a unique, strong password.
Use combinations of at least six letters, numbers and punctuation marks; don’t use words that can be found in the dictionary. You can reset your password by going to your Account Settings page, located next to the drop-down menu next to Home at the top of every Facebook page, then select General from the list on the left side.

• Never give out your username or password.
Never share your login credentials, such as your email address and password, for any reason. Individuals, pages or groups that ask for your login information in exchange for discounted goods like free candy shouldn’t be trusted.

“Get Smart” is this year’s theme for the annual National Cybersecurity Awareness Month campaign, which has occurred every October since 2001. Its purpose is to educate computer users about the dangers on the Internet, safe behavior online, and the nation’s critical cyber infrastructure. This is the sixth year the University has observed the campaign.

For more information, please visit the SecurePurdue website.