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How to secure your Facebook and Twitter Accounts

Posted on: June 16th, 2011 by under Computer Security, Software | No Comments

You’ll be disappointed to know it’s surprisingly easy for malicious computer users to get access to your Facebook and Twitter accounts. It’s especially easy if you ever use unsecured wireless networks.

With the help of a program called Firesheep, (details here) anyone on the same wireless network can take over your accounts and cause mayhem. They can send profane messages as you, send links to virus-infected web pages to your friends and business associates, or just make you look like a fool.

While Firesheep requires the hackers be using acomputer, there is now a program for Android phones called FaceNiff (details here)  that will allow a hacker to do the same things right from his mobile device.

Fortunately, there is something very simple you can do to prevent this from ever happening: Turn on secure browsing.


How to turn on secure browsing in Facebook:

(Warning: This feature may slow your Facebook browsing experience. So you may not want to use it if you are in a secured network or use a VPN. )
Go to Account.
Go to Account Settings.
To the right of  “Account Security” click on “Change”.
Under “Secure Browsing (https)”, click the box that says “Browse Facebook on a secure connection (https) whenever possible”.

Note that if you use Facebook apps (a bad idea, in my opinion), they do not support secure browsing. So, when you use an app, you’ll see this message:

“WARNING: If you click continue, you are no longer in secured browsing. Whoops.”

When you are done using the app, you’ll have to repeat this process.


How to turn on secure browsing in Twitter:

While logged in to Twitter via a web browser, go to settings.
Next to “HTTPS Only ” click the box that says “Always use HTTPS. ”
Click “Save”.

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