Feb 1, 2011

Lockdown your Facebook with HTTPS today!

Announced last week on Data Privacy Day — a totally really government sanctioned “holiday,”— Facebook’s HTTPS setting is now available to all Facebook users.
Enabling HTTPS on your Facebook account will lock down your data from Wi-Fi’s prying eyes. It’s a new security feature you should take advantage of, especially if you access your Facebook account in public places.
Just how easy is it to intercept the Internet activity of other users in public Wi-Fi hot spots? Pretty darn, as revealed by Firesheep, a Firefox extension built by Eric Bulter to demonstrate the lax security at popular websites such as Facebook.
For example, once you log in to your online bank account, your entire sesson on the website is encrypted. By comparison, Firesheep revealed how Facebook, Amazon, Flickr and other sites only encrypt your log-in. After you’ve logged in, everything else you do is wide open, especially in Wi-Fi hotspots. Firesheep can intercept Internet sessions via the shared IP address, allowing any old stranger to browse along with the unsuspecting victim, gathering personal and identity info along the way.
Now that you have the ability to encrypt Facebook via the HTTPS option, your entire session on the social network is locked down just as if you were banking online. Here’s how you take advantage of HTTPS:
  • Go to Account in the top right corner of your Facebook page.
  • From the Account drop-down menu chose Account Settings.
  • This will bring you to My Account.
  • Scroll down and click on Account Security.
  • Under Secure Browsing (https), click inside both of the following boxes:
  • Browse Facebook on a secure connection (https) whenever possible
  • When a new computer or mobile device logs into this account, send me an email. (This will alert you if someone unknown has accessed your account.
Note: Enabling HTTPS may slow down your Facebook account as encrypted pages take longer to load, but it’s worth it if you’re accessing your account in a public setting or via an unlocked W-iFi account.
Now let’s all review what we just learned by watching this short but informative video from LifeHacker.

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