5 ways to lock down your Facebook account for maximum security

Facebook In Numbers

You probably spend more time than you care to admit on Facebook. It's a safe bet that hardly any of it is spent nosing around Facebook's settings. In there, you will find five very important settings that give you extra layers of security.

1. Use Login Alerts

If someone uses your Facebook ID and password to login your account without your permission, wouldn't you like to know? Of course! When Login Alerts is turned on, you will be immediately notified if someone tries to login your account from a new place.

To turn on these alerts, login to Facebook and open your Settings menu. Click on Security, Login Alerts, and Edit. Select Get notifications and Email login alerts, then save your changes.

Should you ever receive an alert from Facebook stating someone has logged into your account from an unrecognized location, it's critical that you follow the instructions provided. The email you receive will outline steps you should take to reset your password and secure your information.

One thing you don't want, however, is to receive these alerts each time you login your account through devices you use regularly. Luckily, you can create a list of trusted devices.

The first time you login from a new location, on a new browser or with a new device, you'll be asked if you want Facebook to remember it. Click Save Browser and Facebook won't notify you of logins from that particular location, browser or device again. Be sure to never do this on a public or work computer.

Facebook over the years:

Facebook over the years
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Facebook over the years

The original Facebook homepage from 2004 with a small picture of Al Pacino in the top left corner.

Photo courtesy: Max Slater-Robins/WayBack Machine

Mark Zuckerberg originally described himself as not only the founder of Facebook, but also as the "Master and Commander" and "Enemy of the State."

Photo courtesy: WayBack Machine

Here's what a Facebook group page looked like in 2005.

Photo courtesy: WayBack Machine

For comparison, this is what a Facebook group page looks like today.

Photo courtesy: WayBack Machine

The Facebook homepage in 2005 also listed all of the schools the social network was in -- and still included the photo of Al Pacino.

Photo courtesy: Max Slater-Robins/WayBack Machine

The company decided to drop the "the" from its name in 2005, after it bought the domain Facebook.com for $200,000.

Photo courtesy: WayBack Machine

We love this gem about "poking" from one of the original FAQ pages.

Photo courtesy: WayBack Machine

Facebook's homepage in 2006 was a stripped-back affair, doing away with the list of schools in favor of a simple login option.

Photo courtesy: Max Slater-Robins/WayBack Machine

Mark Zuckerberg's profile in 2006.

Photo courtesy: WayBack Machine

Facebook launched the News Feed to display all your friends' activity in a single timeline in 2006.

Photo courtesy: WayBack Machine

At the same time, Facebook introduced the Mini-Feed. But the entire concept of a News Feed resulted in some very public outrage. Some users even went so far to call one of Facebook's product managers the devil.

Photo courtesy: WayBack Machine

Facebook's 2007 homepage contained the first instance of its now-synonymous logo and offered the "latest news" from friends.

Photo courtesy: Max Slater-Robins/WayBack Machine

The Facebook of 2008 continued to refine the homepage and offered options for signing up.

Photo courtesy: Max Slater-Robins/WayBack Machine

Facebook gained the "connected world" diagram in 2009, which lasted all the way until 2011.

Photo courtesy: Max Slater-Robins/WayBack Machine

In 2009, Facebook's home page also got a facelift. Posts started to stream through the News Feed in real-time.

Photo courtesy: WayBack Machine

That same year, Facebook also introduced its algorithm for determining the order in which status updates should be displayed.

Photo courtesy: WayBack Machine

Facebook changed its logo font in 2010 but left the homepage much the same.

Photo courtesy: WayBack Machine

2010 was also when Facebook brought notifications to the top navigation bar following yet another redesign.

Photo courtesy: WayBack Machine

Facebook also rolled out a new, more visual profile in 2010. It added a row of recently tagged images below your name and basic profile information.

Photo courtesy: WayBack Machine

Facebook left the design the same in 2011, but made the input boxes used to log in clearer.

Photo courtesy: Max Slater-Robins/WayBack Machine

Facebook launched the News Ticker in 2011 so users could keep up with their friends while browsing through other parts of Facebook.

Photo courtesy: WayBack Machine

The Facebook Timeline feels like it's been around since the beginning. But it launched in 2011 to act as a virtual timeline of your entire life.

Photo courtesy: WayBack Machine

Facebook also split its instant messaging into a different app called Messenger in 2011. It's now got more than 800 million monthly users.

Photo courtesy: iTunes

Facebook swapped out the connected world diagram for a phone in 2012 as its users moved from desktop to mobile. Today, over 800 million people access Facebook on mobile everyday.

Photo courtesy: Max Slater-Robins/WayBack Machine

Facebook started flooding the News Feed with sponsored stories in January 2012.

Photo courtesy: WayBack Machine

Facebook settled on a design in 2013 that it would stay with for the next few years.

Photo courtesy: Max Slater-Robins/WayBack Machine

This is what Facebook's mobile app looked like when it first launched.

Photo courtesy: WayBack Machine

It has since been completely redesigned.

Photo courtesy: WayBack Machine

Facebook also owns a bunch of other popular apps, most notably Instagram, which the company bought for $1 billion in 2012. With more than 400 million monthly users, that seems like a steal nowadays.

Photo courtesy: Business Insider

2015 was a big year for Facebook that saw its first ever day with one billion users online simultaneously. The company had figured out how to make money from mobile too, turning it into a $300 billion business.

Photo courtesy: Max Slater-Robins/WayBack Machine

Today, more than 1.5 billion people use the social network every single month.

Photo courtesy: Facebook

And more than 1.4 billion people use it on their mobile phones every month. Not bad, considering 12 years ago smartphones didn't even exist.

Photo courtesy: Facebook

Here's the Facebook homepage today, on its 12th birthday.

2. Request Login Approvals

Facebook also tracks how you login your account. With a few steps, Facebook will monitor if someone is accessing your Facebook account from a previously unused device or browser. When this happens, a separate verification code will be needed to complete the login process.

To set up these approvals, select Login Approvals in Facebook's Security Settings, then click the box that says, "Require a security code to access my account from unknown browsers." Follow the prompts to receive a security code, and re-enter your password.

Once you've confirmed that you're making this request, a box will pop up that says: "Whenever a login is attempted from an unknown browser, we'll now ask for a security code. For the first week, in case you don't have your phone, you can turn off Login Approvals without a security code."

Click, "No thanks, require a code right away."

3. Keep extra codes on hand

If you turned on Login Approvals, you'll be asked to enter a security code whenever you login from a new location. This code can be sent via text, or retrieved from the Code Generator section of your Facebook app settings menu.

However, if you don't have access to your phone or tablet, you'll still need a code to login your account. For this reason, Facebook will generate 10 random codes for you to use.

Get these backup codes by clicking on Login Approvals within your Facebook Security Settings. Check the link that says, "Get codes to use when you don't have your phone."

A list of 10 codes will appear. Print them out and keep them secure.

4. See where you're logged in and log out remotely

This could certainly save you in a pinch. If you've accessed your Facebook account on another computer or device and forgot to log out, anyone could gain access to your private information. Sometimes you may not even remember that it happened, so it's important that you review this list regularly.

From your browser, in your Facebook Security Settings, you will see, "Where you're logged in." Click that link for a complete list of your current logins as well as a button to log out remotely from each.

These steps are not as straightforward when using the Facebook App. To help you out, click here for a video tutorial as well as step-by-step instructions.

5. Add trusted and legacy contacts

If for some reason you don't have access to your phone or email, and you don't have your security codes, you could have one of your closest Facebook friends generate login codes for you. If there's someone who you truly trust, this is a good backup.

Legacy contacts are different. Although this is a downer to think about, in the event of your death you may want someone to look after your Facebook account. With the right permissions, your legacy contact could write a pinned post to your Timeline, respond to friend requests and update your profile picture and cover photo. You can even request that your account be automatically deleted.

You can make these adjustments in the Security Settings, under Trusted Contacts and Legacy Contacts.

Be extremely careful with these settings. For example, you don't want any of your trusted or legacy contacts to end up on your list of ex's.

Visit Komando.com for even more ideas to securing your Facebook profile. Or, to make Facebook work better for you, click here for the five hidden Facebook tricks you need to start using.

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