Facebook now claims more than 900 million members, and unfortunately some of those individuals have malicious intentions. Members must remain vigilant about their security and privacy settings to protect themselves from identity theft and potential predators. Facebook has a Privacy Settings page that allows users to customize their experience by choosing who can search for them, who can view their profile, and who can send them messages.
Members can specify what information applications can pull from their profiles and manage the applications they have installed. They can also limit the visibility of past posts and control what can be posted on their profiles by other users. Individuals should take care to ensure that their contact information is not available to the public. Only their friends, or no one, should have the ability to see this data.
When creating a Facebook account, individuals should use a dedicated e-mail address not linked to any bank accounts or other websites. If someone hacks a Facebook profile, he or she may gain access to the e-mail account. It is also important to use strong passwords to prevent unauthorized account access. Users must be careful about the information they post and the links they follow because posting sensitive information or following links to spyware or malware jeopardizes their online security. Users should log out when they finish each session because Facebook may monitor their activity on other websites if they do not.