Web Security and Social Media: How Hackers Use Facebook To Access Your Data

Did you know that Facebook has Apps that are linked to your account? No? Actually, yes you do.


At one time or another, you have checked out a Facebook game, taken a random quiz online, signed up for shopping websites using your Facebook login-- sounds familiar? Well, do you remember getting this small white boxing saying “(Name of the App) would like to access your following Facebook account detail”? Yes! That passively-random-without-thinking-twice decision you made when you clicked on the Allow/Permission button had actually opened a portal for the Apps builder, or worst, some third-party hackers to possibly access data on your account.

We’re not saying this to frighten you. It’s true. These are facts. Even those apps that you signed up for years ago may still have a certain access. But you don’t have to fret or cringe. As easy as you allowed this access, it is also very easy to remove it. Here’s how:

  • Go to the menu of the Facebook App
  • Scroll all the way down
  • Select "Settings"
  • Choose "Apps"
  • Select Logged in with Facebook

This will show you the apps accessing your Facebook profile. Hovering to one app will show you an edit or delete option.  You can choose edit to see the data it accesses. You can change the access permission or scroll down to delete it.

Your friends may also be giving away your data. Apps they use can also access your info. You may also change this setting by selecting "Apps others use." You can now choose what info to give away or disable it completely by going to "Platform." Then select "No."

These simple steps will help control who accesses your info but this does not guarantee that your account will be hack-proof. Added security to your account will help you enjoy Facebook with a peace of mind. Here are some very minimum security steps that you can take to protect your account from hackers:

1. Use different and complex username and passwords

Facebook is, well, undeniably insecure. Your password on your Social Media account should never be used as the same password on your mobile banking. You might say that this is a no-brainer but there are some people who use the same password for everything-- so they remember. If you’re one of these people, it’s best to have a complex password. Think of characters, letters and number combinations. So instead of the usual “ilovecats123” you can use “!L0v3K@+z.” It is also easy to log in to your account using your email address as a difficult username, but if it’s easy for you then it’s easy for anyone, too. Getting a more complex username can leave Facebook perpetrators one step behind.

2. Update and Backup Everything Regularly

Updating your Anti-Malware and Antivirus software tightens the security of your Facebook account. It is also best not to ignore web browser update alerts and make sure that it is updated. You see, these updates are regularly done because the developers are always finding a way to strengthen the security of web browsing. This means more protection for you. 

3. Enable two-factor authentication

Two-factor authentication is available on most providers. This enables another level of security to your accounts because it requires a unique code to be sent to your phone when you try to log in, especially using a new device. This means that to access your account, hackers also need to have your mobile device available on hand.

4. Don’t share personal information on your posts 

There was this family tree post circulating on Facebook a few months ago wherein you will share your father’s last name, his mother’s maiden name, your mother’s maiden name and her father’s maiden name of sort-- a lot of people were sharing this information not knowing that they are bridging security fraud not only to their facebook account but may be to their banking account, too. How so? Easy. The number 1 security question? What is your mother’s maiden name? Even a fun circulating post can innocently be a way for hackers to get into your account.

SUMMARY:

Below are some very minimum security steps that you can take to protect your account from hackers:

  1. Use different and complex username and passwords
  2. Update and Backup Everything Regularly
  3. Enable two-factor authentication
  4. Don’t share personal information on your posts

CONCLUSION

Facebook has closed the distance between families, friends and people that we have lost contact with for a long time. While there are many great features this app offers, let us also not forget that we have to look after ourselves and make sure that our safety and security is still our top game.

Have you had any experience with Facebook hackers? Share with us your story in the comments below.

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