Gini Dietrich

New Facebook Setting Secures Your Data On Open Wireless

By: Gini Dietrich | February 3, 2011 | 
33

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.

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