Stories of the open road

Tales of a Vagabond...

By Pathum Punchihewa

My facebook account has been hacked... Sorry about the inconvenience...!!!

This has become a common status message these days in the facebook network. And it has a point. As the numbers indicate, hacking attacks in facebook have increased significantly in the past few months.

What is the root cause of the problem? Is the world’s most popular social network insecure? Are there any breaches in the facebook adamantine wall? Well, the answer is no. As any other social network, facebook also is not fully protected. Maybe there are breaching holes which allow hackers to reach your sensitive data in facebook. But the good news is that you can still defeat them, with proper usage of facebook. Let’s move on to some ground rules…

1. Strong passwords are always Hack-proof.

Many users give less importance to the passwords that they choose but actually, a robust password will likely save your day. A strong password is composed of both uppercase and lower case letters, numbers, and symbols. Passwords should have at least 8 characters. Do not include any personal information in your password like your name, birth date, or address in order to make it difficult for anyone to guess. It is also highly recommended to change your password every once in a while.

2. Protect the computer from virus and spyware.

In doing so, you also protect all the confidential information that is stored in your computer. Spyware and other malicious software can steal your confidential information like passwords, bank info, contact info, and private files by sending them to the hacker.

3. Don’t ‘remember me’

Remember me option is such a bad enemy if any other parties use your computer. And if you are stupid enough to use the ‘remember me’ option in cyber cafes and open computers, you will pay for your mistake soon.

4. Tweak Privacy Settings.

Although Facebook is working hard to keep the site safe, there are still multiple instances of security breach. It would greatly help if you fine-tune the Privacy Settings on Facebook to control what information is visible to the public. If you uphold your nice photos on the internet, be careful because they will be stolen easily.

5. Applications… applications… applications…

People of all ages are now crazy over different Facebook applications like Mafia Wars, Farmville, or farm town to name few. And it is really addictive especially if you have a lot of friends playing these games. However, you need to understand that every time you install any of these applications you allow the creators of the application to access your personal information. It is advisable to use a different Facebook account to play games just to make sure your personal email or other information will not be compromised.

6. Safest Web Browsers

If at all possible, use Mozilla Firefox web browser. Aside from the thousands of add-ons that Firefox offers, security is one of the best reasons why you should switch now. Firefox has better pop-up blockers and does not allow spyware to get on your computer easily.

These are just a few tips that can fit in to one article. Always remember, do not leave your own safety in any other software or web designer’s hand. Of course ‘Mark Zuckerberg’ may be busy with improving facebook security and he really works hard, but your very own safety always lies in your hands…

Published on Youth Mirror - Daily Mirror (22nd April, 2010)


Post a Comment