Facebook Privacy Breach: 2 Settings You Need to Check NOW

Facebook Privacy Breach: 2 Settings You Need to Check NOW

By: Shelly Kramer
August 10, 2011

How to Avert Facebook Privacy Breaches

Today I noticed two separate alerts about Facebook privacy breaches and thought I’d pop them into a blog post with instructions on how to remedy.

The first has to do with browsing – and I would have never noticed it had I not seen Danny Brown’s status update mentioning it. Kudos to you, Danny. Finally, you’re good for something.


If you use Facebook, stop what you’re doing, right now, and hop on over there. Look at your browser window. If it just starts with http:  or www: guess what – you’re browsing on an unsecured connection and your account could easily be compromised. As in hacked.

A secure account starts with https: as seen in my browser window in the image below. If yours does not start with https: that’s problematic. To fix it, do this:

Go to Account, then Security, then, on Security Settings, look at whether or not you’ve opted for Secure Browsing. If it’s not enabled, do it. Now.


Facebook Browser Security Settings


Another thing I discovered today because of a heads up by the lovely Kristina Sorrelli is that it’s possible, depending on your settings on both Facebook and your mobile phone, that your contacts are all there, for Facebook’s viewing pleasure and or use as they please. I don’t know about you, but I don’t really need Facebook using my data and recommending friends for me – I don’t have any trouble finding them on my own. And that’s what this setting might allow.

Want to know more? Stop what you’re doing. Yes, now.

Go to Account, Edit Friends, Contacts. If you click on contacts, it’ll take a minute, but all the phone numbers that have been imported from your phone (if you have it set to sync) will show up, as will all the contact numbers that people have made visible via their Facebook profiles.


Facebook Privacy: How To Modify Phone Contact Settings

If you don’t want that to happen, select Remove Imported Contacts as shown in the example below.
Facebook Privacy: How to Protect Your Phone Contact Settings

There you have it. Two little things you can–and should–change and that might someday save you from a world of trouble. Thanks to Danny and Kristina, and lots of other folks in the Facebook and Twitter worlds who quickly notice things like this and pass them along to the rest of us.

  • Anonymous

    Actually it is an issue, but not because Facebook is “publishing your mobile contacts” but more because people are unwittingly synching their phone contacts with FB and have no idea how that impacts them.

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  • Bernadettejamieson

    It seems my facebook has been comprimised, I am unable to open my account to change my settings. Can you help?