How To Protect Your Facebook Account From Scams

Yesterday, Facebook introduced some new features to help users protect their accounts from being accessed by others without the users’ knowledge.

The new features let you register the computers and mobile devices you regularly use to access Facebook, then notify you via email or SMS whenever your account is accessed from a device Facebook doesn’t recognise.

This is a good security innovation for Facebook (and comes at a time when the company needs some positive news about how it handles privacy). Unfortunately, setting it up isn’t entirely straightforward, especially if you want to be notified via text message.

Never fear: we’ve put together a step-by-step guide to setting up these notifications that anyone will be able to follow.

Go to Facebook, and choose 'Account Settings' from the Account drop-down menu in the upper-right corner of the window

Click the 'change' link across from 'Account Security'

Toggle this to 'Yes' and click submit. From now on, you'll have to register each device you log in to Facebook with, and you'll get an email whenever your account is accessed from a new device.

Here's what happens when you log in from a device Facebook doesn't recognise. My work computer is now named Fred.

A few minutes later, an email arrived telling me that a computer named Fred has accessed my account.

You can also get these notifications via SMS, but if you don't already get texts from Facebook, you need to set that up. Go back to account settings, click the 'Notifications' tab, and click on the 'Send notifications to my phone' link.

That brings up this pop-up window. Choose your mobile service provider. (Weep softly to yourself if this is your choice.)

Send a text to the number they give you with the letter 'f' in it.

You should get a text like this back from Facebook almost immediately

Enter the code from your text, and click 'Confirm'

WARNING: Now that you've activated text updates, Facebook will text you very frequently by default. Uncheck all of these boxes if you don't want texts about normal Facebook activity.

Scroll down, and continue to customise when you want to hear from Facebook. When it's all set, click 'Save Preferences'

Now when you go back to 'Account Security', you'll have the option to get texts whenever your Facebook account is accessed from a new device. If anyone has your password, you'll know immediately. That's it!

Of course, people can find out a lot about you on Facebook without hacking anything...

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