Retirement Life
27 June 2022

How to keep safe on Facebook

It’s the technology that connects us to loved ones, but how can we keep our online experience of Facebook safe and enjoyable?

 

While social media platforms can be a great way to keep in touch with loved ones, sadly, according to Netsafe, ‘silver surfers’ (over 50s who frequently use the internet) are susceptible to being defrauded online. NZ Digital government’s recent survey into digital inclusion and wellbeing in New Zealand also shows that 86 percent of 66 to 75 year olds have access to the internet.

 

So it’s essential to be aware of the potential risks. Here we look at some ways to firmly secure your Facebook (and other social media accounts).

1. Choose a strong password

Your password is the first and often best security for keeping invaders away. Make sure it is at least 12 characters long, with a mix of letters, numbers and other symbols. Don’t use personal information as your password, as this can easily be guessed or engineered. It’s vital that you don’t use this password anywhere else on the internet. And beware of attempts by others to get hold of your password by asking you to enter your passwords via emails. Where possible, use two-factor authentication (known as Login Approvals on Facebook) as well.

 

2. Keep your privacy settings updated 

Facebook is constantly changing its privacy settings. Make sure you stay up-to-date on these changes and adjust your settings accordingly. That way, you can control who sees the information you share. For example, you can set up Login Alerts on Facebook so that you are notified anytime anyone logs in from an unrecognised device or browser.

 

3. Be careful about what you share

Remember that anything you post on Facebook is public information. That means that anyone – including scammers and identity thieves – can see it. So, think twice before sharing your birthdate, address, holiday destination or other personal information.

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4. Beware of unknown friend requests or unknown links

If you receive a message from someone you don’t know, don’t click on any links that are included. These could be malicious links that will download viruses onto your computer or lead you to a scam website. Equally, if you receive a friend request from someone you’ve never met, be cautious. It’s possible that this person is pretending to be someone else in order to gain access to your personal information.

 

5. Share your experience

Talk to friends and family about how you keep yourself safe online and share any tips you have discovered to eliminate risk. If you come across something online that seems suspicious or ‘too good to be true’ – it probably is. Check out netsafe.org.nz for help or further information on how to avoid scams, hoaxes and phishing.

Photo of Kathy Catton
Written by:

Kathy Catton

Kathy Catton is a freelance writer and editor, based on the Banks Peninsula. She is an experienced feature writer, magazine editor and copywriter. Quick to grasp the crux of any story and tell it in plain English, Kathy enjoys bringing stories to readers that surprise and delight.

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