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5 ways to make your Facebook account bulletproof

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5 ways to make your Facebook account bulletproof

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Scammers are constantly looking for ways to access your Facebook account. It doesn’t matter who you are; they want your information. They’re even stealing accounts from dog shelters. And if they get in, some users say recovering your account is a hassle. That’s why it’s important to make sure your account is locked down.

Here’s how to keep your Facebook account secure and safe from any potential scammers or hackers.

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CLICK TO GET KURT’S FREE CYBERGUY NEWSLETTER WITH SECURITY ALERTS, QUICK VIDEO TIPS, TECH REVIEWS AND EASY HOW-TO’S TO MAKE YOU SMARTER

Facebook app on a smartphone (Kurt “CyberGuy” Knutsson)

1) Change your Facebook password 

One of the biggest things you can do is use a secure password on your account. Make sure it’s different from your other accounts. However, with data leaks becoming more frequent, it would be wise to change your passwords frequently — we recommend every three months.

How to change your password from your computer

  • Log into your Facebook account
  • Click the Account icon at the top right of the page (where your Profile picture should be)
  • Select Settings & Privacy
  • Select Settings
  • From the menu on the left of the screen, in the “Meta Accounts Center,” click “See more in Accounts Center
  • On the next page, click “Password and security” towards the bottom of the left-hand navigation
  • Select Change Password
  • Choose an account to make changes. Select your Facebook account.
  • Enter your current password and then your new one twice to confirm in the edit fields
  • Tap on Change password

How to change your Facebook password from your iPhone

Changing your Facebook password from your iPhone is not much different from changing it from your computer. Here’s what you do:

  • Open the Facebook app and make sure you are logged in with the account for which you want to change the password
  • Tap the Facebook Menu button in the bottom right of the screen
  • Now tap Settings & Privacy
  • Click Settings
  • At the top in the “Meta Accounts Center,” click “See more in Accounts Center
  • On the next page, click “Password and security
  • Select Change Password
  • Choose an account to make changes. Select your Facebook account.
  • Enter your current password and then your new one twice to confirm in the edit fields
  • Tap on Change password

How to change your Facebook password from your Android

Changing your Facebook password from your Android also has very similar steps. Keep in mind that many Android phones act slightly different from one another, so these instructions may be similar, though not exact, for your phone and version of Android software.

  • Open the Facebook app and make sure you are logged in with the Facebook account for which you want to change the password
  • Tap the three horizontal lines on the navigation bar at the top of the screen
  • Tap Settings and Privacy
  • Then tap Settings 
  • At the top in the “Meta Accounts Center,” click “See more in Accounts Center
  • On the next page, click “Password and security
  • Select Change Password
  • Choose an account to make changes. Select your Facebook account.
  • Enter your current password and then your new one twice to confirm in the edit fields
  • Tap on Change password

Use a password manager

Consider using a password manager to generate and store complex passwords for your Facebook account. It will help you create unique and difficult-to-crack passwords that a hacker could never guess. Second, it also keeps track of all your passwords in one place and fills in passwords for you when you’re logging into an account so that you never have to remember them yourself. The fewer passwords you remember, the less likely you will be to reuse them for your accounts.

5 ways to make your Facebook account bulletproof

Facebook account on laptop (Kurt “CyberGuy” Knutsson)

MORE: DON’T FALL FOR THAT ‘LOOK WHO DIED’ FACEBOOK MESSAGE TRAP

2) Set up two-factor authentication

Also known as 2FA, two-factor authentication has become a standard security setting. Working from home has made this even more common, as companies want to make sure you’re on a secure network before you use their programs. While it might seem annoying to follow a few extra steps to log in to your Facebook account, it’s worth it to protect your account from anyone else getting in.

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Two-factor authentication requires you to approve a login on a separate device, so you’ll need to enable this feature on a desktop computer and then make sure you have the Facebook mobile app installed and logged in on your smartphone. Here’s how to turn it on from your computer:

  • Click the profile icon in the top right corner
  • Click Settings & privacy 
  • Click Settings
  • At the top in the “Meta Accounts Center,” click “See more in Accounts Center
  • Select Passwords and security on the left-hand sidebar
  • Click Two-factor authentication
  • Choose your account
  • Follow the prompts to enable two-factor authentication

Here’s how to turn it on from your smartphone:

  • Open the Facebook app
  • Tap the Facebook Menu button in the bottom right of the screen
  • Now tap Settings & Privacy
  • Click Settings
  • At the top in the “Meta Accounts Center,” click “See more in Accounts Center
  • On the next page, click “Password and security
  • Click Two-factor authentication
  • Choose your account
  • Follow the prompts to enable two-factor authentication

MORE: HOW TO OUTSMART CRIMINAL HACKERS BY LOCKING THEM OUT OF YOUR DIGITAL ACCOUNTS

3) Set up alerts for logins from unrecognized devices

You can opt in for text messages and email updates if anyone logs into your Facebook account from a device you haven’t marked as a recognized device. You can also have the notification pop up on your Facebook app. Here’s how to set up alerts for logins from unrecognized devices on your computer:

  • Click the profile icon in the top right corner
  • Click Settings & privacy
  • Click Settings
  • At the top in the “Meta Accounts Center,” click “See more in Accounts Center
  • Select Passwords and security on the left-hand sidebar
  • Scroll down, and under “Security Checks,” tap Login alerts.
  • Click the account you want to set up the alerts for logins from unrecognized devices
  • Then, check either in-app notifications or email 

Here’s how to set up alerts for logins from unrecognized devices on your smartphone:

  • Open the Facebook app 
  • Tap the Facebook Menu button in the bottom right of the screen
  • Now tap Settings & Privacy
  • Click Settings
  • At the top in the “Meta Accounts Center,” click “See more in Accounts Center
  • Click “Password and security
  • Scroll down, and under “Security Checks,” click Login alerts 
  • Click the account you want to set up the alerts for logins from unrecognized devices
  • Then, check either in-app notifications or email
5 ways to make your Facebook account bulletproof

Facebook app (Kurt “CyberGuy” Knutsson)

MORE: SCAMMERS ARE USING FAKE NEWS AND MALICIOUS LINKS TO TARGET YOU IN AN EMOTIONAL FACEBOOK PHISHING TRAP

4) Conduct a privacy checkup

Conduct a Privacy Checkup on your account about once a month to ensure it is still secure. Facebook will guide you through settings so you can ensure your data settings, ad preferences and search settings are all as you’d like them to be.

  • On a computer, click the profile icon in the top right corner of your Facebook page to find Settings & Privacy, then tap Privacy Checkup. Facebook will then guide you through some settings so you can make the right choice for your account. 
  • On a mobile app, tap Menu at the bottom right, then tap Settings & Privacy, then Settings and tap Privacy Checkup. Facebook will then guide you through some settings so you can make the right choice for your account. 

5) Never click suspicious links on Facebook

Do not click on suspicious links on Facebook, even if they appear to come from a friend or a company you know. This includes links as posts or in emails. Here’s what you can do to protect yourself:

Hover over the link: Most browsers show the actual destination URL when you hover your cursor over a link. Check if it matches the text displayed and looks legitimate.

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Report suspicious links on Facebook. If you see a suspicious link on Facebook, be sure to report it. This helps keep the platform safe for everyone.

Have good antivirus software: The best way to protect yourself from clicking malicious links that install malware that may get access to your private information is to have antivirus protection installed on all your devices. This can also alert you of any phishing emails or ransomware scams. Get my picks for the best 2024 antivirus protection winners for your Windows, Mac, Android & iOS devices.

How to recover your Facebook account if you’ve already been hacked

You may realize a hacker has taken over your account if you can’t log in, or you may notice some red flags while still logged into your account – like posts you didn’t create. If you’ve already been hacked, follow these steps:

  • The first step is to check if you still have access to the phone number or email you set up your Facebook account.
  • If you do, go to facebook.com, make sure you’re logged out of any other account and click Forgot Account.
  • Follow the on-screen instructions to receive a recovery link to your email or phone number.

If you do not have access to the phone number or email associated with your Facebook account, head to facebook.com/login/identify. You’ll be able to fill out a form to have Facebook review your account while answering a few security questions to prove the account you’re trying to recover is yours. You’ll have to provide proof of ID, like a photo of a driver’s license. We understand there is hesitance to upload your ID, but Facebook says these uploads are encrypted and stored securely.

Another option:

  • Go to facebook.com/hacked from any device.
  • Notify Facebook about your compromised account.
  • Choose the relevant reason to help Facebook comprehend the situation. Then, proceed by clicking on Continue.
  • Facebook will prompt you to enhance your account settings. Initiate the process by clicking on Get Started.
  • Subsequently, it will commence evaluating your passwords, email addresses, connected apps and other pertinent details.
  • After selecting the reason, click on the Get Started button.
  • Upon completion of the analysis, you will be provided with the option to change your password once your email address is verified.
  • Follow the prompts to regain access to your Facebook account.

Kurt’s key takeaways

While locking down your Facebook account seems like a lot of work, it’s worth it. The peace of mind you’ll have knowing that hackers will have a hard time breaking into your account is priceless. Recovering your account can be difficult, so it’s better to get ahead of any hackers.

Do you feel like Facebook’s parent company, Meta, is doing enough to protect your Facebook account from hackers? What else do you think should be done to protect your account? Let us know by writing us at Cyberguy.com/Contact.

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For more of my tech tips & security alerts, subscribe to my free CyberGuy Report Newsletter by heading to Cyberguy.com/Newsletter.

Ask Kurt a question or let us know what stories you’d like us to cover.

Answers to the most asked CyberGuy questions:

Copyright 2024 CyberGuy.com. All rights reserved.

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Meta wants to be the Microsoft of headsets

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Meta wants to be the Microsoft of headsets

On the theme of opening up, Meta is also pushing for more ways to discover alternative app stores. It’s making its experimental App Lab store more prominent and even inviting Google to bring the Play Store to its operating system, which is now called Horizon OS. In a blog post, Meta additionally said that it’s working on a spatial framework for developers to more easily port their mobile apps to Horizon OS.

Crucially for Meta, Horizon OS includes the Horizon social layer, a 3D, Roblox-meets-The Sims open-world platform. After a buggy and sluggish start on the Quest, Meta has been working to improve Horizon and recently brought it to the web as a 2D experience. Now, any hardware company that wants to build a device with Horizon OS will help extend the reach of Horizon the social network, which Meta wants to eventually monetize with ads and commerce. (Yes, this is approaching Google levels of naming confusion.)

Meta has yet to share more on the business terms of its Horizon OS license, aside from that social network tie-in and requiring the use of Qualcomm chips. “You can imagine a lightweight headset that pairs with your computer on your desk to provide the best work experience at home or anywhere you go,” CEO Mark Zuckerberg said in a video announcing the news. “Or imagine one that’s fully focused on watching immersive entertainment like movies and videos with the highest resolution OLED screens out there.” Spokespeople for Lenovo, Asus, and Xbox didn’t respond to requests for comment.

Zuckerberg has been clear that he wants his company to be a more open platform than Apple’s. Here, he’s firmly positioning Meta’s Horizon OS as the Android alternative to Apple’s Vision Pro. Given how Android was more of a reaction to the iPhone, an analogy he’d probably prefer is how Microsoft built the early PC market by licensing Windows.

Meta’s move has been a long time coming. “In the open ecosystem, basically you have much broader partnerships,” Zuckerberg told me in an interview in the fall of 2022. “So Microsoft didn’t build the chips; they didn’t build the PCs; they didn’t build the App Store. It was all this key stuff that was developed around the ecosystem. Similar to Android. And that’s basically what we hope to build here — is the open ecosystem for the next generation of computing around virtual and augmented reality in the metaverse more broadly, which means that there are going to need to be all these partnerships.”

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Tidy up your tech: Spring-cleaning tips for safeguarding your data

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Tidy up your tech: Spring-cleaning tips for safeguarding your data

It happens without warning. Suddenly, access to your personal data gets interrupted by a simple hardware failure, nasty virus, cyberattack, software glitch, accidental deletion or human mistake. It’s clearer than ever that our personal data is vulnerable.

As an advocate for privacy and security, and the editor behind the popular CyberGuy Report, which you can subscribe to for free at CyberGuy.com/newsletter, I have always emphasized the importance of personal responsibility when it comes to data security. My top recommendation for protecting your precious memories, critical documents and the mountains of personal data we accumulate is straightforward: utilize a personal drive for backups.

CLICK TO GET KURT’S FREE CYBERGUY NEWSLETTER WITH SECURITY ALERTS, QUICK VIDEO TIPS, TECH REVIEWS AND EASY HOW-TO’S TO MAKE YOU SMARTER

Woman on laptop (Kurt “CyberGuy” Knutsson)

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Choosing the right backup tools

Spring is traditionally a time for cleaning, and this should extend to digital hygiene as well. Each year, I undertake a thorough cleaning of my personal data, making sure to back up documents, family photos and other irreplaceable items. There’s nothing quite like the peace of mind that comes from having a physical backup, which places control firmly in your hands, irrespective of whether you use a Mac, PC or even a Chromebook.

Tidy up your tech: Spring-cleaning tips for safeguarding your data

Man on a laptop (Kurt “CyberGuy” Knutsson)

MORE: BEST LAPTOPS FOR 2024

Recommended backup solutions

One of my favorite tools for this task is the WD Portable Drive, which offers 2 terabytes of storage. It easily connects to your device via SuperSpeed USB 3.0, ensuring quick and efficient data transfer and is fully compatible with Chromebook. A reliable drive like this is a must-have; I use another similar WD model for my MacBook and PC.

Tidy up your tech: Spring-cleaning tips for safeguarding your data

WD portable drive (Kurt “CyberGuy” Knutsson)

MORE: BEST DESKTOP COMPUTERS FOR 2024

Back up, unplug, store your portable drive in a secure place

In addition to regular ongoing backups either on the cloud or another drive, I use this WD drive that plugs into your Mac, PC or Chromebook as an extra copy of my important data that can be disconnected and kept in a safe place away from hackers and other threats.

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Tidy up your tech: Spring-cleaning tips for safeguarding your data

Man typing on laptop (Kurt “CyberGuy” Knutsson)

MORE: 10 TIPS TO SPEED UP YOUR PC’S PERFORMANCE

What to back up: A digital checklist

When deciding what to back up from your computer, it’s crucial to prioritize documents, files and memories that are important and irreplaceable. Here’s a comprehensive list to consider.

1) Personal documents: Include items like birth certificates, passports, social security cards, marriage certificates, wills and other legal documents that could be difficult or time-consuming to replace.

2) Financial records: This category should cover bank statements, tax returns, investment records and other financial documents that are essential for personal record-keeping and legal compliance.

3) Photos and videos: Family photos, vacation videos, special events like weddings or graduations and other personal memories that cannot be recreated.

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4) Work and educational documents: If you use your computer for work or school, ensure you back up important projects, research papers, presentations and related correspondence.

5) Emails: Some emails might contain important information, agreements or attachments that you may need to refer back to. Consider backing up important emails or archiving them.

6) Contacts: A backup of your digital address book can save you a lot of trouble in case you lose access to your devices.

7) Music and media collections: For those who collect music, movies and books digitally, backing up these files ensures you don’t lose your collection.

8) Software and app data: Back up settings and data for apps that you use frequently, especially if they help manage your schedule, finances or health.

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9) Website bookmarks: If you rely on bookmarks to navigate the internet efficiently, backing them up can save time if you need to restore or switch to a new device.

10) Game saves and profiles: If you’re a gamer, backing up your game saves and profiles can prevent loss of progress in case of system failure.

11) Creative works: Include writings, artwork, design files, coding projects or any other personal or professional creative work.

The reality of digital threats, whether from ransomware attacks, viruses or even technical glitches in the cloud, is not a matter of “if” but “when.” By maintaining a physical backup of your most crucial data, you ensure that in the event of a digital catastrophe, what matters most remains safe in your hands.

Tidy up your tech: Spring-cleaning tips for safeguarding your data

Woman on phone and laptop (Kurt “CyberGuy” Knutsson)

Kurt’s key takeaways

Remember, safeguarding your digital life with a reliable physical backup isn’t just a precaution, it’s a necessity. This spring, take the time to protect yourself from potential future data disasters. Unplug your backup drive and store it in a safe place. It’s a simple step that could save you a lot of heartaches.

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What’s your “data disaster” story and what lessons did you learn about digital backups from it? Let us know by writing us at Cyberguy.com/Contact.

For more of my tech tips & security alerts, subscribe to my free CyberGuy Report Newsletter by heading to Cyberguy.com/Newsletter.

Ask Kurt a question or let us know what stories you’d like us to cover.

Answers to the most asked CyberGuy questions:

Copyright 2024 CyberGuy.com. All rights reserved.

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Microsoft makes it easier to install Windows store apps from the web

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Microsoft makes it easier to install Windows store apps from the web

Microsoft is starting to improve the experience of downloading Windows store apps from the web. The software giant has built what it calls an “undocked version of the [Microsoft] Store” that works like a typical executable to install apps from the Microsoft Store. It should cut down on the complexity involved in finding Windows store apps on the web and installing them.

Instead of launching the Microsoft Store and a mini window, now when you download apps from the web version of the Microsoft Store it will download a standalone installer instead. This means you don’t have to click install on the web, then allow Chrome or Edge to open the Microsoft Store, and finally hit install to actually install the app. A lightweight installer will be downloaded instead, which you can launch and install the Microsoft Store app you were looking for.

Microsoft Store developer Rudy Huyn claims this reduces the entire process down to just two clicks, but from my own testing it’s still three clicks to download and install Microsoft Store apps from the web. You click to download, you then click to open this new lightweight installer, and you still have to click install in the prompt that appears. Microsoft appears to have just simplified the process here by removing the prompt to approve the Microsoft Store being opened through Chrome or Edge.

Not all Microsoft Store apps seem to support this new lightweight installer, though. While I was able to download packaged versions of GroupMe and Snapchat, trying to download Discord this way still pushed me into the Microsoft Store instead. The standalone installers also don’t include the full app installer, as this is downloaded during the install process.

Microsoft has tested this new method over the past five months and it claims it has led, on average, to a 12 percent increase in installations and a 54 percent increase in the number of apps launched after install. That’s obviously good news for developers eager for Windows users to install and use their apps, so Microsoft is now expanding this experiment to “more products and markets,” according to Huyn.

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