January 28, 2011

January 28, 2011
New Facebook Security Measures

Welcome to another day in my life. Today is Friday and I hope you have had a safe and great week. We have almost made it to the weekend. This is going to be a very busy weekend for Dab the AIDS Bear and me.

We will be busy all weekend attending the Emergency ADAP Summit here in Fort Lauderdale. It will be great seeing our friends and fellow activists since we live all over the country. Most of us only get to see each other in person several times a year. But we stay in touch online throughout the year.

Today, I would like to talk about security on Facebook. Since most of you follow Dab the AIDS Bear and me on Facebook and MySpace, I am sure you have been aware of the security issues, spams and viruses on both services.

A day after Mark Zuckerberg's Facebook page was hacked, Facebook has rolled out a set of new security features.

There are some important changes that Facebook users should be well acquainted with so they can protect themselves and their information on the social network. We have spelled out everything you need to know about the new tools below.

The first new feature, HTTPS enabled browsing, will let users create a secure connection, even if their network is insecure.

HTTPS will help protect password stealing on public networks, as well as protecting you against programs like Firesheep, a Firefox plug-in that lets you log in to other users' Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr accounts (to name just a few).

HTTPS can slow down browsing, but the difference is often negligible since Gmail is HTTPS protected and still speedy. But more importantly, Facebook does not automatically enable HTTPS browsing. If you want to make sure that the lurker at your local cafe is not secretly peeping at pictures of your grandma drinking champagne from a cowboy boot, you have to change the settings yourself.

How do you enable HTTPS?

First, you go to Account on the upper right of your screen, and select Account Settings. From there, you go down to Account Security and click Change, which will allow you to enable HTTPS browsing. It will also let you receive an email when a new computer or device logs into your account, if you so choose.

Facebook's second security update is an authorization feature-- social authentication -- that will activate if suspicious activity occurs on your account (logins in Beijing and Berlin one hour apart, for example) and is intended to verify that your account belongs to you and has not been compromised.

Facebook will test your identity by asking you to identify pictures of your friends, in a personalized update of more familiar CAPTCHA technology. They will show you a few pictures of your friends and ask you to name the person in those photos. Hackers halfway across the world might know your password, but they don't know who your friends are.

So hopefully this will help you protect yourself while on the social network. Until we meet again; here's wishing you health, hope, happiness and just enough.

big bear hug,

Daddy Dab