Facebook Anxiety Syndrome (FBAS) seems to be fairly common among my readers. Some of you use FB with abandon and some are afraid to us it at all but many fall in between, wanting to use it responsibly and as securely as possible. Good news comes from FB for those that want increased security. You can now enable HTTPS (Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure) encryption while engaged in a FB session. Encrypting data is designed to foil hacker’s attempts at accessing your data. You’ll notice that whenever you go to secure sites like your bank that an s appears after http in your web address window; same kind of encryption we’re talking about here.
On Jan. 25, FB reported that Mark Zuckerberg’s (founder and CEO of FB) fan page had been hijacked. Gee, I wonder if that had anything to do with development of this new encryption feature for FB users. Just wondering!
Here’s how you activate the new encryption feature. Open a FB session and click on Accounts then Account Settings. Scroll down and click Account Security. Put a check in the Secure Browsing check box and click Save. While you are there, you may want to also check the other box directly below which sends an email to you whenever a new PC or mobile device logs into your account. As with all new FB features, this one is being rolled out slowly to all users; so if you don’t have it today, you will shortly. One final caveat, new FB features may precipitate side effects. Additional security can slow down your data access and some third party apps don’t work with HTTPS enabled.
SOPHOS, an industry leader in information security solutions, maintains a blog on Facebook about FB security, if you’re interested in learning more about FB security issues. Log in to FB and search for SOPHOS to find it. It may be an overload of information, but you’ll find answers to some of your questions there.
I’m a FB user myself and don’t mean to belittle FB’s efforts to keep their users’ spaces and sessions secure. They do confront enormous problems servicing 500 million users worldwide. How would you like to wake up with a complaint about the hacking of French President Sarkozy’s FB page and then have the switchboard light up with thousands of complaints from Tunisia and Egypt that users couldn’t connect to their FB pages? All in a day’s work at FB security headquarters.
One last caution about FB. What to post or not should be a question in all users’ minds. My suggestion is don’t post anything you wouldn’t want your mother, spouse, children or boss to see. Remember all these people and total strangers have access to the Internet same as you.