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Is Facebook Safe To Use In 2021?

Facebook is a free social networking platform developed and owned by Mark Zuckerberg. The app has a current store rating of 3.4 in App Store and 3.9 in Google Play. It’s one of the pioneer social media apps and remains popular with over 2.7 billion monthly active users.

As you may know, a Facebook account is linked to a user’s email address. Facebook users get to personalize their profiles and customize the information seen by the public. Facebook connects people from across the globe through status posts, chat messages (Messenger), and video calls. Recent additions to its various features include Facebook Marketplace, Facebook Portal, Facebook Watch, and Facebook Dating.

5 Facebook Dangers To Be Careful Of

Facebook is one of the most widely utilized social networking apps. Unfortunately, its popularity is also the reason why it’s targeted by malicious users. Here are five common threats lurking on Facebook.

Data Breaches

In 2018 and 2019, Facebook faced data breach-related complaints, accusations, charges, and lawsuits. Allegedly, collated user details — from personally identifiable information to bank/credit card information — were sold to third-party vendors. While these data breaches weren’t enough to shut down the platform, it doesn’t mean it’s impossible. Like any other third-party software, Facebook is susceptible to hacks and other cyber threats.

Identity Theft

Posers and fake accounts are rampant on Facebook. Hackers assume the identities of their victims to ask for money from their friends. Most identity theft cases involve the use of names of well-known personalities. These fake accounts take advantage of a person’s fame and power for malicious intentions.

Cyberbullying

Facebook posts are prone to cyberbullying especially if they are set to public. Trolls and bashers tend to comment hateful messages and spread bad vibes. While most do this only for fun, sometimes they are paid to do such.

Fraud Transactions

Facebook Marketplace and business pages offer convenient ways for people to shop. However, since all transactions are conducted online, bogus sellers/buyers are unavoidable.

Romance Scams

Facebook has recently launched its online dating feature. It works like any other online dating site where users are matched based on location, shared interests, or set preferences. Hence, catfishers and romance scammers are surely lurking in this section of Facebook.

6 Facebook Safety Tips

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Despite the privacy and security concerns surrounding Facebook, the company assures all issues have been addressed accordingly. They’ve put in place additional safety precautions to help with account security. Nevertheless, be sure to always proceed with caution on social media platforms

Here are some tips to continue enjoying the features of Facebook without compromising your safety.

1. Passwords

Passwords are an efficient and reliable first line of defense. So, be sure to set yours as strong as possible and update it regularly. Also, avoid sharing your login credentials with anyone – not even with your best friend or spouse.

2. Privacy Checkup & Settings

Facebook’s Privacy & Settings page allows people to take full control over their accounts. Users can customize their profiles to make them private and set up reminders. You can manage the data and personal information Facebook may share with third-party sites. Moreover, be sure to regularly check your privacy settings as Facebook routinely adds new ones. Here are the things you can review in Facebook’s Account Privacy Checkup:

  • Who can see what you share
  • How to keep your account secure
  • How people can find you on Facebook
  • Your data settings on Facebook
  • Your ad preferences on Facebook

3. Security Features

Facebook offers security features like blocking, unfriending, and unfollowing. Enable two-factor authentication on your account for an extra layer of protection. Facebook can now send end-to-end encrypted notification emails, a feature that allows users to add OpenPGP (Pretty Good Privacy) public keys to their profiles. All these security features and functions enable people to cut contact with any suspicious users or friends who share offensive posts.

4. Friend Requests

Don’t mindlessly accept friend requests to boost your number of Facebook friends. Remember, quality is more important than quantity. Check out their profile first, as the request may be from a catfish or hacker. Also, make it a habit to check mutual friends before accepting any friend requests.

5. Posts and Messages

Once you’ve put something online, it’s going to stay there forever. Deleting posts or comments or uploaded files doesn’t necessarily eradicate their digital footprints. Always be very cautious about what you share on Facebook. Avoid sharing your personal information, confidential data, and daily routines. As the popular saying goes, think before you click and post.

6. Antivirus and/or Monitoring Software

Antivirus programs are designed to automatically detect, isolate, and address any threats. This is beneficial in securing your Facebook data and device. There are also third-party monitoring apps you can install to track activities within a Facebook account. Trusted and reliable monitoring software provides remote real-time access, making it easier to identify and address issues.

Frequently Asked Questions About Facebook Safety

Does Facebook steal your data?

Facebook doesn’t steal user data. As stated in their terms of service, Facebook collects data for product research and development. Add that with marketing strategies enhancement, and it helps provide a better and more customized user experience.

Is it safer to use the Facebook app or browser?

Facebook’s privacy and security settings function similarly on both the app and browser versions. It is somewhat safer to utilize the Facebook app because your carrier’s data connection is more secure than public Wi-Fi. Plus, accessing your Facebook account on a browser from a shared or public computer poses more risks.

How can you stay safe on Facebook?

Utilizing and maximizing Facebook’s privacy settings and safety nets should be your first step in staying safe on Facebook. It’s wise to install antivirus and monitoring software to protect and log your Facebook activities. Furthermore, always utilize strong passwords, be mindful of the information you share, be selective of your friends, and never send money to anyone on Facebook.

How do I do a security check on Facebook?

On the Facebook app, tap the burger icon on the upper-right corner → click on Settings & Privacy → select Settings. Choose Security and Login → tap on Check Your Important Security Settings. When you’re logged in to a browser, simply navigate to www.facebook.com/help/securitycheckup

What are the negatives of using Facebook? 

Just like all social media platforms, there are several negatives to utilizing Facebook including:

– Being exposed to dangers including hackers, scammers, and catfishers. 
– Social media addiction.
– FOMO (Fear of missing out).
– Developing mental health issues including depression and suicidal thoughts. 
– Loss of productivity in the workplace.

Author: Liam King

I am a tech writer looking to share with the world all of the latest gadgets, apps, and news.