Before you post your next Facebook update from a coffee shop, airport, or other public WiFi network, you might want to think about who else could be watching what you type.
When you use a public WiFi or network to send information over the Internet, anyone else connected to that network can intercept that data and read it.
What data do you send that is important? How about your Facebook, gMail, or corporate username and password information? I think we have your attention now 🙂
How the Bad Guys Do It
If a cyber criminal can get access to your email or Facebook accounts, that information can be sold for quick cash or worse yet, be utilized by the criminal to gain further access into your cyber identity.
Take for example the nightmare that Matt Honan went through when thieves cracked into his Apple account and from there proceeded to access every other digital account he had. They wiped his iPads, his phone, closed several online accounts, and literally had access to his ENTIRE digital identity. And it all started with one simple password.
In Matt’s case thieves used information that was available on the web to trick Apple into thinking the thief was actually the rightful account holder. Once Apple was fooled, the rest was history.
The point here is, all it takes is one small crack in your digital password protection for your whole digital world to come tumbling down.
How Can I Keep My Facebook Account Safe?
There is a little-mentioned feature in Facebook called secure browsing. When this feature is enabled, the same technology that protects your online banking and shopping transactions can be used to protect your interactions with Facebook.
The use of this Secure Socket Layer encrypts all communications between your device (phone, tablet, computer, etc..) and the Facebook servers. Even if someone is listening in, all they can see is gibberish.
To enable Secure Browsing on your Facebook account:
- Log into Facebook on a secure network (like your home or office computer)
- Go into your account settings
- Choose account security
- Check the box “Secure Browsing (https)”
- Change your password just in case someone has it