facebook account security.

How to secure your Facebook account. Social media accounts like Facebook hold a lot of personal details about us, so it's very important to keep them locked down and secure from hackers.

In this guide to Facebook security, we'll setup two-factor authentication, see how it works, setup Facebook recovery options in case it doesn't, and then see how to use them to get back into your account.

If you were looking for the Facebook privacy settings click Facebook Privacy Settings

Home » Facebook Account Security

set up 2 factor authentication to secure your facebook account.

Facebook makes it easy to secure your account using 2FA. You'll need your mobile phone at the ready, charged up, connected to a network and close to hand.

Log in to your Facebook account as usual.

Then click the downward facing arrowhead.

If you don't see an arrowhead, click on your profile picture.

If you don't have a profile picture, click the grey avatar.

Whichever you clicked, a menu will open. On the menu click SETTINGS AND PRIVACY.

A second menu opens. Click SETTINGS.

On the Facebook General Account Settings page click PRIVACY in the left hand panel.

Then click "Check a few important settings".

how to keep your facebook account secure.

On Facebook's Privacy Checkup page, click the "How to keep your account secure" box.

The "How to keep your account secure" splash screen appears.

Facebook will offer you some advice on the strength of your current password.

Anything less than OK should be changed. As you can see, I'm OK.

Click the CONTINUE button.

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Your Facebook account password. Did they say it was OK or better? Do you want to change it?

If you do, click the CHANGE PASSWORD button.

If you're sticking with the one you have, click the NEXT button.

If you clicked CHANGE PASSWORD, then type your new one into the boxes provided, and then click the NEXT button.

use two factor authentication to secure your facebook account.

To secure your Facebook account beyond just using a strong password, you can setup two factor authentication (2FA).

Facebook allows you to use either Text Messages (SMS) sent to your mobile phone, an authenticator app on your phone, or a security key.

In this guide we'll stick to using your phone to authenticate. That's because the way in which security keys work varies considerably. And besides, if you're using one, then you probably already know how to set it up.

To set up two-factor authentication on Facebook, click the GET STARTED button.

2 factor authentication by text message (SMS).

To set up 2FA using text messages, select the Text Message (SMS) option. Then scroll down the page and click CONTINUE.

Type in the phone number that you want to use.

Make sure your phone is charged up, switched on, connected and near to hand because Facebook will be sending you a text message after you click the CONTINUE button.

Told you so.

After a few seconds, you should receive a text message from Facebook.

It'll have a 6 digit code number. Type the code number into the boxes and click the CONTINUE button.

Once Facebook has verified the code number you entered, you're all done, 2 factor authentication by text messaging is all set up and ready to go.

Click the DONE button.

Do you want Facebook to use your phone number for advertising etc.

I'll leave it to you, but click click NOT NOW.

facebook two-factor authentication using an authenticator app.

If you've got an authenticator app already set up, then you can use that instead of text messaging. Using an authenticator app, it's very easy to set up 2FA on Facebook.

To use an authenticator app to secure your Facebook account, select the AUTHENTICATION APP option. Then scroll down the page and click the CONTINUE button.

Next, you'll need to scan in the QR code.

Click the CONTINUE button when ready.

Then refer to your authenticator app for the code.

Enter it into the boxes provided.

Click CONTINUE.

And you're done. Two factor authentication using your app is all set up for Facebook.

Click DONE.

turn on alerts.

After you've set up your 2-factor authentication, the next section involves how Facebook should let you know that someone has logged into your account.

Do you want to be alerted every time someone tries to log into your Facebook account? I'd say yes. After all, you're trying to secure your Facebook account here, why wouldn't you want to be notified.

If the alert is for your own activity, fine, you can just ignore it. But if someone is accessing your Facebook account, then turning on the alerts should help you spot the miscreant.

Choose which of the three methods you'd like Facebook to use to alert you when someone signs in to your account.

Or click TURN ON ALL to have all three turned on, then click the NEXT button.

Now you're all done. You've set up two-factor authentication (either by text or authenticator app) and also turned on alerts for when your account is signed in to.

what's going to happen when you've enabled 2 factor authentication on your facebook account?

Now that you've turned on two factor authentication (either by text or app) and you've set up your alerts, you've pretty much secured your Facebook account.

But what happens next? What happens when you sign into your Facebook account?

When you try to log into your Facebook account, you'll enter your username and password as usual.

But instead of going straight into your account, you'll be challenged to provide a 6 digit code number.

You'll get the code number from either a text message sent to your phone or from the authenticator app you've chosen to use.

Simply type in the code number and click the CONTINUE button.

Having correctly entered the required code number, Facebook will then ask you if you want it to remember the browser your using.

Select either SAVE BROWSER or DON'T SAVE and then click CONTINUE.

If you save the browser, then in future, Facebook won't ask for the code number when you use this browser. You'd normally select this option on your own computers.

If you select Don't Save, then every time you try to log in to your account using this browser, Facebook will ask (require) a new code number to be entered. You'd normally select this option if you're using someone else's computer or maybe a shared computer.

facebook account security alert.

Whenever you're challenged for an authentication code number, Facebook will alert (notify) you.

When you've logged in to your Facebook account, you'll notice that you've got a new notification.

Click the notification bell.

"We've noticed an unusual login from a device or location you don't usually use".

Click the message.

Now you can check the alert.

Well, was it you?

set up facebook account recovery

There are 3 main things that can go wrong when you're trying to log into your Facebook account.

First, you could forget your Facebook password, and you wouldn't be the first.

That's fairly easy to deal with. On the Facebook log in page, you simply click the FORGOT PASSWORD link. Facebook then sends an email to your registered email address. You click the link and re-set your password.

The second problem is if you've enabled two-factor authentication and then whichever device you're using for authentication doesn't work. Maybe you've lost it, maybe mislaid it, maybe broken it, it doesn't matter which, you just can't use it right now.

That's where Facebook recovery codes come in. These are pre-arranged code numbers that you can use instead of the one you'd normally get from your device.

The final problem is that you've lost access to the email address that you registered with Facebook AND you don't know your password. Now you're in real trouble.

To try to get around this issue, you can setup up what Facebook calls Trusted Contacts.

Both the recovery codes and the trusted contacts have to be setup beforehand. We'll look at how to do both below.

set up facebook recovery codes.

Recovery codes are code numbers that Facebook provides you with in case your phone or security key isn't available or working.

To get your recovery codes, click

The dropdown arrowhead in the top right (or profile picture) - Settings and Privacy - Settings

On Facebook's General Account Settings page, click SECURITY AND LOGIN, in the left-hand panel.

You may have to re-enter your Facebook password. Click CONTINUE when ready.

On the Two-Factor Authentication page, scroll down to the ADD A BACKUP METHOD section.

Click the SET UP button for Recovery Codes.

Then click the GET CODES button.

Facebook will open a new window with a list of code numbers. These are your emergency recovery codes.

Write them down, or better still, click the DOWNLOAD button to save the list to your computer.

Click the CLOSE button when ready.

Recovery codes can only be used once, which is why you get 10 in one go. If you ever need to use one, cross it off your list after entering it.

And obviously, keep your codes safe, but where you can get to them. You just never know when they'll be needed.

Wherever you downloaded the recovery files to, you'll see a simple text file called "Recovery codes"

If you open it, you'll see all 10 of the code numbers.

set up facebook trusted contacts.

Trusted contacts are a way of verifying your identity to Facebook. You would only ever use your trusted contacts if you lost access to the email address or phone number that is registered with Facebook.

To set up your trusted contacts, click the

The dropdown arrowhead in the top right (or profile picture) - Settings and Privacy - Settings

On Facebook's General Account Settings page, click SECURITY AND LOGIN, in the left-hand panel.

On Facebook's Security & Login page, scroll down to the SETTING UP EXTRA SECURITY section.

Then click the EDIT button for "Choose 3 to 5 friends to contact if you're locked out"

Then click the CHOOSE FRIENDS button.

Click the CHOOSE TRUSTED CONTACTS button.

Type the name of one of your friends on Facebook that you're going to use as a trusted contact.

When you see them appear, click their name.

Their name will appear in the box.

Now type the name of the second person you want to add as a trusted contact.

When their name appears below, click on it and they will be added to the list.

Keep going. You need to have at least 3 people, and a maximum of 5.

When you've added your trusted contacts, click the CONFIRM button.

After clicking the CONFIRM button, you should be able to see the people you've added as your trusted contacts on Facebook.

The people that you add as trusted contacts will receive a notification.

how to recover your facebook account.

Now that you have your Facebook recovery codes safely stored and you've set up your trusted contacts list, the next thing for us to look at is how exactly do you use them to recover your Facebook account?

We'll look at the 3 most common issues.

  • Forgotten Facebook password
  • 2 factor authentication not working
  • Lost access to Facebook registered email address AND forgotten password.

how to reset Facebook password.

It's not an uncommon event to forget your password, we all do it from time to time.

If you get logged out of Facebook, but don't remember your password, here's how to re-set it.

At the Facebook log in screen, click the FORGOTTEN PASSWORD link.

Type in the email address or phone number that you used to register with Facebook.

Then click the SEARCH button.

When Facebook finds your account click on it.

Then they'll ask for an email address or phone number where they can message you.

Although it asks for a new email or phone number, just ignore that, enter your current one.

Don't enter a new one. It is confusing, but type in either the email address or phone number that you currently use for Facebook.

Click the CONTINUE button.

Facebook will send you an email. In the email you'll find a code number. Copy that code number.

Back on the Facebook page, enter the code number into the box provided and click the CONTINUE button.

Type in your NEW password for Facebook. Write it down somewhere. Then click the CONTINUE button.

On the next screen, choose whether to log out on any other devices that you've got connected to your Facebook account.

When setting a password for any type of account, but especially for social media accounts like Facebook, you really should use strong, unique passwords. Why You Should Use Strong Passwords.

how to use facebook account recovery codes.

Using your phone or a security key as a second form of authentication does your Facebook account far more secure, but like any other device, they can fail.

If that happens, you can use your Facebook account recovery codes.

At the Facebook login page, enter your email and password and click Log In.

And now you're required to enter the two-factor authentication code. But for whatever reason, the device you normally use, phone or security key, isn't working or available.

Simply enter one of the recovery codes into the box instead, then click the CONTINUE button.

Please note that when using the recovery codes, you don't use any spaces. When you get the codes from Facebook, they're in 2 blocks of 4 with a space between the blocks.

When you use them to authenticate yourself on Facebook, type in 1 block of eight digits, no spaces between them.

Choose whether to allow Facebook to remember your browser or not. This will mainly depend on whether you're using your own computer or someone else's.

Click CONTINUE.

And you're in. You are logged into your Facebook account.

Before you do anything else, cross out or delete the recovery code that you just used to get in.

The recovery codes can only be used once. So now you've used it, cross it off the list.

how to use trusted contacts to access your facebook account.

Using your trusted contacts to gain access to your Facebook account is very much a desperate measure. It means that you've lost access to your email address and forgotten your password.

So in calling on your trusted contacts, what your are about to do is to change both your email address and password at the same time. Which is very much what a hacker might want to do to take over your Facebook account.

So it's a security nightmare for Facebook.

When I tried to use this feature, I found that it didn't work. I tried 3 times to get into a locked account and 3 times I failed. I'll explain why I think that happened later, but for now, this is how you go about calling on your trusted contacts for help.

At the Facebook login page, click FORGOTTEN PASSWORD.

Now enter your email address or phone number and click the SEARCH button.

Facebook will then search through its database to find your account.

If you're entering an email address, it will be your old one, the one you registered with Facebook, not the new one you just created.

if you need to use your trusted contacts, it will be because you can't get into your emails.

So click "No longer have access to these?"

Now you'll need to provide either an email address or phone number where Facebook can send you messages.

This would be a new email address or phone number. There's no point entering your old one because you can't get into it. So it has to be a new one.

Just be sure that you have access to it right now.

When you've entered and double checked the details, click the CONTINUE button.

If this works, then from now on you'll use your new email address or phone number to log into Facebook.

contact your trusted friends.

Now you'll need to get in touch with your trusted contacts. Tell them you're locked out of your Facebook account and you're trying to get back in.

Each of them will need to give you a 4 digit code number

You'll need a 4 digit code number from your friends which you will enter into the boxes provided.

You need 3 of these codes.

To get the code numbers, each of your contacts need to go to the webpage

facebook.com/recover

This can often be the most difficult part, especially if your friends aren't that good with computers or the Internet.

If they're struggling, ask them to go onto the Internet and then type

facebook.com/recover

Into the address bar of their browser. Then press the Enter key on their keyboard.

Each of your friends will be taken to Facebook's account recovery page.

Assuming they're going to help out, ask them to click the CONTINUE button.

Facebook will ask them to confirm that you are who you say you are.

Ask them to select "Yes, I talked to you on the phone". And then click the CONTINUE button.

Now they'll need to give you the code number.

That's your friends part done. They can simply click the DONE button.

You'll need 3 of these code numbers.

As you receive each code number, enter them into the boxes provided.

When you've entered all 3 codes, click the CONTINUE button.

Facebook will now send an email to your NEW email address. It should arrive within 30 minutes.

When you open the email, you'll see a link to click on that will help you get back into your Facebook account.

You'll also be able to set a new password for your account.

I'd like to be able to show you the email, but it never arrived. 30 minutes, 30 hours, 30 days later and still no email.

Hopefully, if this ever happens to you, the email will arrive and you'll be back up and facebooking in no time at all.

so why didn't it work?

I can't be 100% sure because I'm not a Facebook insider, but I think I fell foul of Facebook's anti hacker security software. The accounts I tried to access were very new accounts (I did have each of the account owner's permission), and so I think that Facebook saw it as suspicious activity.

That's what I think happened. I can't really attach much blame to Facebook for trying to protect an account, it just means that I can't be sure as to whether this will actually work you.

facebook account security summary.

Using two-factor authentication to protect your Facebook account works really well. Whether you opt to use a phone and either text messaging or authentication app, or a security key, the level of protection that you get ramps up significantly over just using a password.

resetting your Facebook password, should you forget it, works really well and is pretty much a doddle to do.

When enabling 2FA on any type of account, it's always a cause for concern as to what you can do if your phone or key isn't working.

However, with the Facebook recovery codes, getting into your account without the use of your phone or key is equally easy to do. You just need to have the codes to hand.

As for the trusted contacts, that I can't be sure about. Now it has to be said that losing access to your email account and forgetting your Facebook password at the same time is quite rare, but it does happen.

My best advice here would be to try getting into your Facebook account using another device. Most of us have more than one computer or tablet or maybe an old phone about the house. Maybe you logged into Facebook on that device at some point. Worth a try before going down the trusted contacts route.

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