Gini Dietrich

New Facebook Setting Secures Your Data On Open Wireless

By: Gini Dietrich | February 3, 2011 | 

It’s Facebook question of the week time but, I was so excited yesterday with the big Chicago blizzard, I took a video of the main streets that look like a war zone instead of answering a question.

But the camera work is very Blair Witch Project-ish so I figured I’d do a real blog post and, if you really want to watch it, it’s only 43 seconds so it shouldn’t make you car sick. And there is a rare appearance by Mr. D.

You can find it here.

But, as I was trying to figure out what to blog about to provide something of value, I came across new Facebook settings that prevent some random hack from getting into your account while you’re using WiFi at your local coffee shop.

The problem is, like anything with Facebook, you really have to work to change this in your account.

They finally are offering an option to use encrypted “HTTPS” protocol, which is what nearly every password-protected site uses, including your email. It prevents your information from being stolen over open or poorly secured wireless networks.

The feature began rolling out yesterday, but they say it’s going to take a few weeks before they’re finished. You should check now if it’s available and sign up as soon as it’s enabled for your account.

It won’t come as a surprise that, by default, Facebook doesn’t encrypt your credentials. But with the common use of Firesheep, it’s becoming even more important to be proactive about changing your settings.

Following are the steps for signing up for Facebook HTTPS:

  1. Go to “account” in the upper right hand corner of your Facebook account
  2. Click on “account settings”
  3. Click on “change” in “account security”
  4. Click on the box next to “secure browsing (https)” (as seen in picture above)

If you don’t have the ability to do this yet, check back in the next 24 hours. Facebook says the option will be available to all account holders this week, but that you may have to wait a few weeks for it to actually work.

And beware. This works only online, not on your smart phone.

Watch my silly blizzard video and change your Facebook settings.

About Gini Dietrich

Gini Dietrich is the founder and CEO of Arment Dietrich, an integrated marketing communications firm. She is the author of Spin Sucks, co-author of Marketing in the Round, and co-host of Inside PR. She also is the lead blogger at Spin Sucks and is the founder of Spin Sucks Pro. Join the Spin Sucks   community!

  • JaimieField

    Thanks Gini! just changed my settings. Oh, and by the way – pfffftttt…. (me giving you a raspberry). Snow uggh….

  • Done. This was a great post, Gini. Thank you. Now to check the video…

  • ginidietrich

    @JaimieField I freaking love it1 You should see the massive piles outside! I’ll take pictures later today.

  • ginidietrich

    @Shonali I hope you don’t get car sick!

  • JaimieField

    @ginidietrich I do see it – right out side my window. And we are expecting more this weekend (not good since I was planning on celebrating b/day starting tonight and going through Superbowl Sunday)

  • balemar

    Thanks Gini! Very helpful. Already shared it with my friends.

    PS – Love the snow video! JB looks to be having a BALL!

  • ginidietrich

    @balemar You’re welcome! And he was! Because no one was out, we let him off the leash and let him run in the street. That’s BIG TIME!

  • ginidietrich

    @JaimieField I love that you celebrate forever!

  • This is really helpful Gin – thanks for pointing it out. Gonna’ get crackin’ on that.
    Silly me for thinking our FB info was already encrypted!

    “Hi Mr. D :)! And of course Hola JB.”
    Boy, I wish I was in the middle of that blizzard right now – So jealous!
    Oh and your teeth aren’t chattering at all – you don’t sound like you’re shivering or anything. And those ski goggles…no comment 🙂 – just fabulous. And I’m still super jealous hehe.

  • HowieSPM

    I actually removed the FB app from my Droid when they announced (before putting the move on hold) that they were selling people’s phone numbers (web and mobile) to Brands and App developers.

    Then when the dismal Facebook Ad Click Rates came to light this week via Ad Week my friend Chris Baccus who runs all Digital and Social for ATT (and you want a tough job) tweeted me knowing I was going to be dancing up and down.


    And of course why would Facebook auto-set every account to secure? If the account gets hacked they get more page views right?

  • Thanks for the video Gini this reminded me of Montreal on a nice winter day. JB looks like he is enjoying it.
    I have lost hope of anything being secure on FB a long time ago.

  • ginidietrich

    @johnfalchetto LOL! You’re smart. Don’t put stuff on there you don’t want the world to know.

  • ginidietrich

    @HowieSPM I don’t have an app on my phone, either. I just go through the web.

  • ginidietrich

    @Griddy It was SNOWING and my eyes were burning! Today I can wear real sunglasses. Now I just need a mountain and my skis and I’d truly be in heaven.

  • @ginidietrich Again – all I got for ya is “I’m jealous”. I want to be there with the goggles, skis and all! It looks amazing!

    There’s nowhere nearby to ski? I’m sure it won’t be anything like Utah but still.

  • patrickreyes

    Great info Gini! Also great to see Mr. D too!

  • ginidietrich

    @patrickreyes We had to do a couple of takes. I said, “Say hi Mr. D.” And he said, “Say hi Mr. D.” Oy.

  • patrickreyes

    @ginidietrich Well come on now…you knew he’d do something like that! I’m surprised you didn’t shoot it again when you captured JB doing his business!

  • ginidietrich

    @patrickreyes It was the third time at that point. I just wanted it done.

  • ginidietrich

    @Griddy Um. When you grow up skiing in Utah, nothing else really works. Certainly not the land fills in Wisconsin.

  • @ginidietrich LOL I hear ya. Sorry Gin :(.

  • Thanks @ginidietrich for the heads up! I just changed my settings.

    P.S. I am glad you are safe and warm in this blizzard!

  • @ginidietrich Nope. Only if I’m reading while someone else is driving. Which is very weird, because that never used to happen when I was a kid.

  • Two Words, Dietrich’s

    Leash Laws.



  • ginidietrich

    @FranchiseKing The laws don’t apply when the cops can’t get through the streets! This morning JB thought he could run without a leash in the street again. Um. No.

  • ginidietrich

    @rachaelseda SNOW!

  • Pingback: More Changes on Facebook? | Rick:Caffeinated – RickCaffeinated()

  • I just typed in once I heard they added support for HTTPS, not sure but seems that should work for anyone. The setting is part of the dumbing down of the internet. I blame google they started it with Chrome by not showing the http: or https: 🙂

    Very useful article in general, I like how you spell it all out Gini.

  • @ginidietrich I was just giving you crap. Looks like a great dog!


  • 3HatsComm

    I looked into this the other day, didn’t see it as a choice yet. Thanks for the reminder, done.

  • @ginidietrich PLOW!

  • I actually did this earlier this week. It didn’t hit me that it’s also a solution to the Firesheep problem.

  • Oh yeah. . . FUN snow.