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6 steps to secure your Facebook account right now

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Pixabay graphic / CNET illustration

Facebook knows a lot about you, and that makes your account and the information it contains a primary objective for hackers. How we learned after him Cambridge Analytica scandal, malefactors don't always have to to hack our accounts to take advantage of our willingness to share information with Facebook.

Protecting your Facebook account does not take much time and it is better to do it from a computer instead of your phone, since some of the settings may include a lot of information. Even if you've recently spent time protecting your account, you should occasionally visit the Facebook Settings page and review everything one more time. It is very likely that new configurations have been added and older configurations have been moved.

Read on to learn how to set a strong password, limit the way others can search for you, and prevent Facebook from saving your location history.

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Strong passwords and double authentication are key.

Screenshot: Jason Cipriani / CNET

Use a secure password and two-factor authentication

The first thing you should do to protect your Facebook account is to create a secure password and enable two-factor or two-step authentication (known in English as 2FA). This may seem obvious, but it is very important. You'll also want to update your password from time to time and make sure you're not using it for crucial accounts like your bank's app. Use a password manager to help create one and remember your unique passwords (these are our best options for the best password manager). Go to the Security page and change your password.

Once you have a new password, activate two-factor authentication. With 2FA enabled, you must enter your secure password and a randomly generated code every time you log in to your account. (You should really use 2FA in each account and service that supports it)

Most password managers also have the ability to store your two-factor authentication codes. However, you can always use Google Authenticator to store and provide access to your codes.

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Take the time to go through each configuration and customize it to your liking.

Screenshot: Jason Cipriani / CNET

Check the Privacy tools

Facebook has a special privacy section for your account. In this section, you can do things like set the default privacy settings for future posts, control who can send you friend requests and decide what information people can use to find your account.

Browse the privacy and tools settings page and adjust each setting to your liking. I suggest that you configure your future publications in "Friends" and limit your search options for email addresses and phone number to "Friends" or "Just me".

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It is not known what kind of personal information you shared several years ago on Facebook. Limit previous posts to prevent this information from being public.

Screenshot: Jason Cipriani / CNET

Limit access to your past posts

The way we use social networks has changed a lot in recent years, especially as we realize how Facebook, and those on Facebook, can use our personal information.

Fortunately, you can limit your previous posts so that they are not visible to people who may run into your profile.

Go to the section Privacy and search Limit audience for old posts in you timelineclick on Limit recent posts and then click on the button with the same title. Anything you have shared publicly or with friends of friends will be changed to be shared only with friends, limiting who can see it.

You cannot select and choose which publications you want to change through this configuration. If you wish to do so, you will have to manually check your timeline and make those changes individually.

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You may be surprised at the number of devices that have access to your Facebook account.

Screenshot: Jason Cipriani / CNET

Audit devices with access to your account

Throughout the years, we have all logged into our Facebook accounts on different phones, computers, tablets and other devices. Facebook keeps track of the devices that have access to your account and facilitates the revocation of access to a fraudulent device or in which you forgot to log out.

You can see a list of all those devices in the "Where are you connected" section of the Security and Login. If you have multiple devices, click on See more To see the full list. To remove a device from the list, click on the three dot icon to the right of the device name and then on Remove. You will be asked whether or not you want all posts coming from that device to be removed from your account as well. This feature is convenient if someone had access to your account without your permission.

Alternatively, you can log out of all devices linked to your account by clicking on See more> Close session of all sessions at the bottom of the list. Find out that a couple of 2012 devices still had access to my account by writing this article, for example. I disconnected from all devices to start from scratch.

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Keeping tabs in applications with access to your Facebook account is smart.

Screenshot: Jason Cipriani / CNET

Check out the apps that have access

On that same topic, we have all granted access to our Facebook account to countless applications. Over time, some applications are abandoned by developers and, ultimately, become a security risk. In case someone accesses the application's user database, in theory they can get access to some functions of your Facebook account.

Visit the Facebook apps and websites to see the active applications that have access to your account. Click the checkbox next to the applications you wish to remove, followed by the Delete button.

You can also remove any application whose access has expired by clicking on the Expired tab at the top of the page.

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How to disable the tracking of the location history of Facebook in the Android application.

Screenshot: Jason Cipriani / CNET

Turn off location history on your mobile

Facebook uses your access to your phone's location data to create a map of your location history. You can delete your location history or if you prefer that Facebook does not store your location history, you can deactivate the location history.

On an Android phone, open the Facebook application and then tap the three-line cone. In Settings and privacy, select Privacy shortcuts followed by Manage your location settings on the privacy card. Next, select Location History and make sure the switch is turned off.

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How to disable tracking of Facebook location history on iOS.

Screenshot: Jason Cipriani / CNET

The process is similar on an iPhone. Open the Facebook application and touch the three-line cone, then Settings and privacy, then select Privacy shortcuts and then Manage your location settings on the privacy card. That's where you'll find the switch to disable location history.

Even after having secured your account, you want to make sure all your data is safe, or if you prefer to simply end up with Facebook once and for allyou can delete your account forever.

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