It seems a week doesn't go by without news about social networking accounts being compromised or some other security issue popping up. The problem is much more widespread than earlier thought, according to details recently put out by Facebook. Also, there's an interesting new way to unlock your Facebook account, should you get locked out for some unknown reason.
Massive Account Hacks, Served Daily
According to a Facebook infographic, there are 600,000 Facebook accounts compromised each and every day. This number was derived from the small minute number placed on the infographic that .06% of Facebook logins are compromised. With one billion daily logins, this means 600K logins may be made in an illegitimate manner. Sophos broke the story recently and published the image below:
What type of activity constitutes a 'compromised' account? According to Facebook, it is one whereby a) a large number of friends disappeared or b) a person or bot has used your account to phish or is sending messages you didn't send.
In the case of disappearing friends, it works like this: assume you log in to Facebook and you see only a subset of your friends in the list of people you have 'friended' on the site. If you feel your account has been phished or is sending out messages you didn't send, your account is sending out spam and you should visit facebook.com/hacked right away.
To keep yourself safe, there are a few key points to keeping your Facebook account secure. First and foremost, choose a password that is strong and lengthy. Also, enable HTTPS, making all your activity encrypted, using the same technology you utilize when you access your web banking and other secure site. Finally, be sure to carefully decide which applications have access to your Facebook data and the control you grant those applications.
Facebook Enables Friend Account Recovery Tool
Getting locked out of your Facebook account can be a scary thing. Although it may seem harmless, many Facebook users depend on the service as the nexus of their social (and sometimes business) lives. Losing a primary identity online could be as bad as losing your drivers' license for an online citizen.
In the event that your Facebook account is locked out, there's a new option for getting back into your account. The Trusted Friends feature now makes it possible for you to designate three to five people to help you re-enable your account should you get locked out. The process works by sending these people codes that can serve as keys to re-enable your account for you.
On the security front, Facebook also added the ability to set App Passwords -- so that if someone logs in to your Facebook account, they won't be able to access applications such as FarmVille without entering a secondary password.