Reassura Guide: Managing your Privacy and Security Settings on Facebook

Social media offers a fantastic chance to connect with people all over the World. However, fraudsters can take away the splendor of social media and wreak havoc with their victims.

Microsoft believe that only 30% of people regularly change their privacy and security settings on their social media accounts. The survey also reveals that only 33% of mobile phone owners use a PIN or password, and only 39% use a secure network while online.

Additionally, the CIFAS 2018 Fraudscape Report showed a 21% increase in older age group being targeted through social engineering for takeovers, with more than a 100 victims every day.

Action Fraud states three pieces of information are needed to steal your identity – name, date of birth and address.  These items can often be found on most people’s social media accounts. This guide provides tips and recommendations to staying safe while enjoying social media.

Most Common Scams

Identity Fraud

Identity fraud is when a criminal creates fake profiles to impersonate a real person, with the intention of securing a credit card, a loan, or selling on your personal details.

Fake Adverts

Fake adverts are posted on Facebook with the hope of enticing a victim to buy a nonexistent product or claim a free gift. The victim will be asked to contact the seller and make payment online for the items or to try and claim the freebie. A lot of holiday fraud and fraudulent used car sales occur through this method.

Tips to Managing your Privacy on Social Media.

  • Protect your password – Don’t use your social media passwords anywhere else online and never share your password. It should be difficult to guess and you should be the only one who knows it. Better still, change it regularly.
  • When logging in – Enable two factor authentication wherever possible.
  • Protect your phone – Many people stay continually logged in on mobile devices
  • Log out of any social media platforms when you use a computer you share with other people. If you forget, you can log out remotely.
  • Review your privacy and security settings regularly. Ask yourself, who do you want to see your profile? Your friends? Friends of friends or anyone who wants to search for you? When you post status updates or pictures, who can see your posts? If it’s not everyone, then you will need to change it, Go to: Settings > Privacy (with the padlock icon) and choose who you want view your posts etc.
  • Change your security settings to: send alerts to your inbox, should anyone log in from a device you don’t normally use. Go to: Settings > change to “send alerts”.
  •  Avoid sharing personal details on social media (address, phone number, date of birth and email address).
  • Check the personal details you display on your profile.
  • Tag. Pay attention to who tags you in posts and pictures, be sure to remove the ‘tags’ if you think the picture is inappropriate. Go to: Settings > Timeline and Tagging
  • Camera Shy! If you want to remove photos on your profile. Go to: Photos and hover over the picture, click on the pencil symbol, you will have the option to edit or remove the picture. You will also be able to; change the location, date or hide pictures from your timeline etc.
  • Location. Sharing the latest restaurant you’ve visited or holiday destination with friends is a great way to keep in touch. Fraudsters are waiting to take advantage of this. There may be times that you don’t want to share your location. Clicking on the location services settings tab and turning this feature off, will prevent others from seeing your exact location while online. Go to: Settings > Privacy > Location > Facebook > Never
  • Don’t befriend people that you do not know, even if they are ‘friends of friends. You have the option to restrict messages, people, invitations and events. Go to: Settings > Blocking
  • Block. Don’t wait too long to block someone if they become intrusive asking you personal questions (address, date of birth etc..) or asking for money.
  • Facebook users can use Facebook’s useful Security Check Up Tool
  • Still unsure. Call Reassura 0800 888 6400 and one of our fraud advisor’s will support you to avoid being a victim of a social media fraud.


What to do if you’re the victim of a social media crime.

If you think that you may have been a victim of a social media fraud:

  • To report a fraud and receive a police crime reference number call Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or use their online fraud reporting tool
  • Contact your social media (Facebook, Instagram or Twitter etc.) platform to inform them of the crime

Reassura is dedicated to helping raise awareness of scams and fraud along with the impact they have on their victims. Reassura’s team of specialist anti-fraud advisors are here to help members make better decisions and avoid falling victim to scams and fraud.

For further information or for advice and assistance regarding any potential scam, call Reassura on 0800 888 6400