You are your Facebook account. Public or private, its contents define you in a professional, commercial and social nature. Your photos are keepsakes, and personal messages can be confidential exchanges. Either way, it's an identity you want to protect.
But you probably aren't doing everything you can to secure your account. You can carry Facebook everywhere on your phone, but is it safe? Facebook Mobile leaves you more susceptible to attempted hijackings and identity theft.
Here are five ways to make sure there's more than a phone case between you and a potential intruder.
1. Lock your device.
Obvious? Maybe, but more than 30% of people don't use passwords to protect their mobile devices.
This is your first line of defense if your phone is lost or stolen. You should always have a passcode or pattern on your phone — not only to protect your Facebook account, but for other sensitive information, too. Think of the work emails, important documents, banking info and more you're leaving exposed on an unprotected phone.
If you have an iPhone and it's already locked, but you'd like to go one step further, put a stronger passcode on your phone. Look in General Settings > Passcode Lock. Turn off the Simple Passcode option (which limits you to four digits) and create a longer code that suits you.
You can also set your phone to delete its data after a number of failed attempts to break the passcode.
2. Use a different password for email and Facebook accounts.
Three-quarters of web users select a single password for all their sign-in purposes, and the most common codes are often the most obvious ("123456" and "password" are favorites). A few more digits, letters or symbols can drastically increase the time it takes to crack your password. Take the time to invent multiple passwords for your accounts, especially for Facebook, which houses tons of personal info.
3. Make sure Secure Browsing is on.
Facebook has offered a secure browsing option since 2011. Without an HTTP Secure (HTTPS) connection, your data is open to sneak attacks any time you use free Wi-Fi (i.e., in a Starbucks or hotel lobby).
There's one downside: HTTPS encryption can slow down your Facebook experience, already a common complaint on mobile. Avoid unprotected Wi-Fi and use your provider's 3G/4G service to prevent potential breaches.
4. Enable login notifications and approvals.
To ensure your account is only accessed when and where you determine, enable this feature. Facebook will send you a notification every time your account is accessed from a new location (you'll have to provide a mobile number for texts, if you haven't yet).
After you assign names to your most-used devices, you'll get a warning if someone enters your account on an unfamiliar computer, phone or tablet. And if someone breaches your account, you'll receive instructions for resetting your password and securing your account.
Similar to two-step verification, login approvals will ask you for a special code every time you try to access your account from a new device.