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You wake up on Tuesday morning, sit down with your morning cup of joe, open your laptop and immediately go to Facebook like 90% of the rest of the world.  When you login you notice a lot of crazy wall posts and private message from your friends talking about videos posted and links messaged by you overnight that contained viruses.  Then it hits you before the caffeine can get into your system… You've been hacked!

You can take certain steps to prevent this from happening, so here are 5 Facebook Safety Tips for Realtors. 

1.  Turn on Login Notifications.  This awesome feature notifies you when your account has been accessed from a different computer or a new device.  Do this – go to "Account Settings" and click on the "Security" icon on the left.  Click on "Login Notifications"  and then select your notification method (email or text or both), and click "Save Changes" button.  Facebook will send you a notification and a link to boot the intruder out.  

2.  Enable Secure Browsing.  While you are in the security settings, go ahead and select "Secure Browsing".  Click the box "Browse Facebook on a secure connection (https) when possible" and then click on the "Save Changes" button.  Now Facebook will use an encrypted connection instead of a standard one making the information you send on Facebook more secure.  This is important when using an open wireless network because it will prevent hackers from stealing your Facebook network connection or eavesdropping on your communication.  

3. Change Your Password.  Change your password frequently.  I know, I know! It is a pain in the rear, but if you get alerts about someone accessing your account after doing #1 above, then your account has already been hacked.  Make sure your password is easy enough for you to remember, but also add upper and lower case letters, as well as number and characters.  Also remember to logout of Facebook, especially when you are not on your own computer.  Closing the web page or exiting the browser does not log you out, and thus makes your account accessible.  

4.  Be Cautious.  Don't fall for the scammer's tricks.  They are getting VERY clever these days.  If you suspect someone is up to no good or that something seems fishy, then go to snopes.com to do your research before clicking on a link or sharing it with your friends.  Also remember to logout of Facebook, especially when you are not on your own computer, so when the next person uses that computer to access Facebook they will see you already logged in.  

5.  Use Anti-Virus Software.  I probably should have made this the number one tip, but it is really the number one thing you can do to protect yourself from not only Facebook hackers, but from hackers in general.  Pay the money for the annual subscription/renewal.  It will be well worth it!  As extra added protection you can go to AVG.com and download their free anti-virus software for basic protection. Do it now, please! 

Taking just a few minutes and a few precautions to protect yourself on Facebook can save you from enduring countless headaches and heartaches that come from having your account hacked.  Follow the steps above to have your Facebook friends still love you tomorrow when you wake up.  If you have some additional safety tips to add, please do so below so we can all benefit from your knowledge.  

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