7 Ways to Protect Your Facebook Account From Cloning

It is not easy to totally obliterate the chance of your your social media account being cloned. However you can reduce the chances of it being cloned by using some of the features availing on the privacy settings.

The more of your information(pictures, videos, posts e.t.c ) that is publicly available, the more effective a profile cloning attempt will likely be. Unfortunately, many Facebook users still have much of their information set to “Public”. These comparatively open accounts are easy targets for cloning scammers.

As suggested on Hoax-slayer, here’s what to do to change that.

Please note that these instructions describe accessing Facebook from a computer web browser. If you are using Facebook on a mobile device or via an app, you may need to use a different method to access your privacy and friends list settings.

1.   Hide Your Friends List

It is especially important to hide your friends list from prying eyes. If the clone scammers cannot see who you are friends with, they will not be able to send out fake invites to your friends. So, hiding your friends list can help to thwart clone scammers. To hide your friends list, open your profile and click on the “Friends” tab. Then, click the pencil icon on the right side and click “Edit Privacy”:

In the “Who can see your friends list?” section, select “Only me” in the drop down list:

2. Run A “Privacy Checkup”

If you click the “Lock” icon at the top right of your Facebook profile, you can perform a quick privacy checkup related to your posts, apps, and, profile. Wherever possible, ensure that they are all set to “Friends” or “Only Me” rather than “Public”:

3. View your profile as “Public”

At this point, it’s probably a good idea to see what your Facebook actually looks like to somebody who is NOT your friend. To do this, click the “Lock” icon again then click “Who can see my stuff”. Now, click the “View As” link under “What do other people see on my timeline?”:

You should now see your Facebook timeline as a member of the public – or a Facebook clone scammer – will see it.   Check your “Friends” and “Photos” tabs and other elements to see what is visible to strangers. Facebook won’t allow you to hide your current Profile and Cover Photos. They are public by default and there is not much you can do about it. However, hopefully, your friends list, most of your photos, and most of your other stuff won’t be visible to our hypothetical scammer.

If there is still stuff that you thing should be hidden, proceed with the next steps.
 4.  Check Who Can See Your Photos

Clone scammers often copy images from the targeted profile and add them to the fake profile to further the illusion that it belongs to the victim. As noted, Facebook won’t allow you to hide your current Profile and Cover Photos. However, you can make sure that as many of your other photos as possible are set to “Friends” or “Only Me”. Click the “Photos” tab and open “Albums”. Some types of album will have an audience selector that allows you to set all of the images in the album to “Friends” or “Only Me” in one click:

For other albums, such as “Profile Pictures” and “Timeline Photos” you may need to select the audience for each image individually. Open the image, click the “Edit” button and choose the option you want via the audience selector.
5.   Check Who Can See Other Profile Information

Even seemingly innocuous information such as what books, music, and movies you’ve liked can help a scammer build a more believable cloned profile. So, click the “More” tab and, wherever possible, ensure that the material in each section is not set to public. You can also hide sections completely by clicking the More tab and selecting “Manage Sections”:

6.   Dig into Your Privacy Settings

You can also check and change privacy related settings via the “Privacy Settings and Tools” section. It’s a good idea to familiarise yourself with the options in the section, so it’s worthwhile taking the time to check it out. Click the drop-down arrow to the right of the lock icon and click “Settings”. Then click “Privacy” in the left menu. Make sure that everything is set as you would like:

7.   Recheck Your “Public” profile

Now, go back to Step 3 above and again check what potential scammers can see on your Profile. All being well, your account will now be locked down pretty tight. If there is still too much of your stuff visible, you can always go back and tweak the various privacy settings as described above.

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