By Antigone Davis, Facebook Global Head of Safety
On Safer Internet Day, we wanted to highlight some of the tools and features we offer to help keep people safe across our apps and give them more control over their experience online.
Keeping Your Account Safe
There are some easy things you can do to help keep your Facebook and Instagram accounts secure, including making sure you have a strong password and enabling two-factor authentication. When enabling two-factor authentication, we recommend using an authentication app as your primary security method. You can also use Facebook’s Security Checkup tool to review apps and browsers where you’re logged in to Facebook and get alerts when your account is logged in to from an unrecognized device.
And to help keep Facebook Groups and Pages secure, we now require some admins of popular and active Groups and Pages to enable two-factor authentication to help protect against account takeovers. Facebook Page admins have also told us they are sometimes confused about why certain changes are happening to their Page and which of their fellow admins or business partners are responsible for the change. This is particularly problematic in cases of malicious account takeovers or “rogue” admins. That’s why earlier this year we rolled out the Page Management History tab which lets Page admins see actions taken by other Page admins.
We know phishing is an increasingly prevalent issue, so to make it easier for people to determine if an email is legitimate, we created Emails from Instagram in Instagram settings so you can see all recent emails Instagram sent to you. This will help you distinguish legitimate emails sent by Instagram from phishing emails which may appear to come from an official Instagram account. Similarly, people can confirm whether an email is from Facebook by checking if it came from facebookmail.com and by reviewing recent emails we’ve sent in the Security and Login Settings. We will never ask you for your password in an email or Facebook message.
Preventing Bullying and Harassment
Bullying and harassment are not allowed on Facebook or Instagram. But since we know we can’t prevent or catch everything, we offer tools to help you control your experience. For example, you can choose to ignore all messages from a bully or block them entirely without that person being notified and you can also moderate comments on your posts.
We work proactively to create new tools to stop bullying before it even happens. For example, on Instagram, if someone writes a comment or caption for a feed post that our AI detects as potentially offensive, they will receive a warning that the language used is similar to language that has been reported for bullying. They then have an opportunity to edit the caption or comment before it’s posted. We’ve found that these types of nudges can encourage people to reconsider posting potentially offensive or harmful language.
We know young people are reluctant to report or block peers who bully them, so last year we created a new feature on Instagram called Restrict. Once you Restrict an account, you won’t receive any notifications from them. Comments from a restricted account will only be visible to you and the person you restricted, and messages from a restricted account will automatically be moved to Message Request. The restricted account will not be able to see when you’ve read their direct messages or when you are active on Instagram.
If you or someone you know has experienced online bullying, visit our Bullying Prevention Hub for useful resources, tools and strategies to effectively address bullying behavior and its consequences.
Controlling Who You Interact With
We believe you should be able to control who you interact with online. The Facebook Help Center explains how you can control who reaches your inbox or your message requests folder on Messenger. You can also use tools like blocking and reporting to stop unwanted interactions or report an issue in Messenger. Parents control who their child is connected to in Messenger Kids and can remove people from their child’s contact list at any time. We also updated the way kids block contacts in Messenger Kids to give them a simpler way to manage who they interact with. And on Instagram, we recently launched a new setting to help you control who can send you direct messages. This new feature allows only people you follow to message you and add you to group threads.