October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month. Jennifer Jolly joins us with tips on keeping your family safer online as well as some information about some great new security features which Facebook is now offering.
Lisa Carey: One of the things we are working on in our family is the security on Facebook. What is one of the easiest ways to clean up or clear out apps from Facebook which we no longer use?
Jennifer Jolly: One of the easiest ways is to use the security checkpoint. It’s a brand new feature that Facebook recently launched. It’s important security that is helpful because it helps you log in and out of devices and create long in alerts. It also reminds you about using strong and unique passwords. There is also an older feature called privacy checkup that walks you through who can see your posts, who sees your post when you do an update, who can see your apps, and quickly review those apps you have synced with Facebook. You can also see what the apps may be permitted to share on your behalf. That is the simplest and easiest way of cleaning out your Facebook and make sure you aren’t letting apps post on your Facebook without your permission.
L.C. : Why is it important to have unique passwords?
J.J.: Your first line of defense is a unique password. The strength of your password is even more important than how many times you change it. One of the other most important things is the privacy check up which walks you through who sees your post. Tailor it by making posts private, with family, with a specific group of friends. With one click you decide who gets to see your information. You can decide what you want people to actually see. Maybe you don’t want those apps to have access to your friends. Pick and choose what you share with them. Use it also to keep your birthday, address, relationship status etc. Those items can be used to figure out passwords, plus you may want to take a minute and think do you really want people to have access to this information.
L.C.: What about groups on Facebook?
J.J.: Groups are fabulous. You can use that to manage your posts to family, community groups, classrooms, etc. it has all sorts of ways to use it with a little learning curve. Just type groups in the search tool of Facebook and you can get easily walked through using it.
L.C.: One of the things I like, is getting notices and approvals when you log in on Facebook. Why are these important and how do they keep us safe?
J.J.: One of the biggest ways that hackers access your account is that you logged in on a phone, which you have left in a public place or sold it or something. Swiping it closed doesn’t log you out. You open it and it takes your right there. Just take a minute to log out of those. You are keeping the control right at your fingertips. This is important information for all your accounts.
You can turn off the notifications alerts if they bother you. But by having the notifications you can immediately shut down the access. As your online life grows so the risk grows. That makes these even more important steps to take for more comfort and safety. You don’t have to be scared but you do have to be smart.
L.C.: What are some other resources to stay on top of our online security?
J.J.: One really good resource is Common Sense Media. You can also visit my website Jennifer Jolly Blog, where I’ll be posting tutorials on how to do some of the things we have discussed today. You can also type into the search bar on Facebook the terms we have discussed and Facebook can help you with information, tips and tutorials of these features.
Don’t wait until something bad happens. Take a few minutes. This is one of those times when an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
Jennifer Jolly is an Emmy award-winning consumer tech journalist and “geek speak translator.” She’s one of the nation’s most trusted experts when it comes to reviewing and explaining consumer electronics and the days’ top tech trends. A 20-year broadcast industry veteran, Jennifer writes the weekly New York Times Wired Well column and is the host and syndicated columnist of TechNow. Jennifer is also frequent guest contributor for the Today Show, The Meredith Vieira Show, The Talk, CNN, HLN, Dr. Oz, and the Rachel Ray Show.