Make Facebook Messenger more secure with FaceID and more

© connect

With a few settings, you can make Facebook Messenger a good deal safer.

Those who communicate with others via Facebook Messenger will be reluctant to let strangers read along. Unfortunately, the app’s default settings are not particularly helpful when it comes to preventing unwanted followers. Once you have left your smartphone unlocked, your chat history is accessible to everyone.

Fortunately, there are some options in the app’s settings that make it difficult for strangers to access Messenger. These include the new FaceID function, for example.

In the following we show you how you can improve the security of Facebook Messenger in a few steps and thus restrict access to the app.

Block Facebook Messenger securely: with FaceID and TouchID

The latest security setting of Facebook Messenger is the blocking of the app by FaceID or TouchID. After the app has not been used for a while, the lock is activated and biometric data is required to activate it again.

Protecting access with biometric data is considered very secure, since fingerprints or faces can only be copied with great effort.

At FaceID As the name suggests, the user’s face is scanned via the smartphone’s camera and then compared with the stored image. If the two do not match, Facebook Messenger remains blocked and the stranger does not have access to the chat history.

It goes similarly TouchID in front. Here, however, the fingerprint is checked via the smartphone’s scanner instead of the face.

How to enable app lock in Facebook Messenger

So far, both FaceID and TouchID are only available for iOS. In Android, the two security functions should follow within the next few months. To activate the functions on your iPhone, proceed as follows:

  1. Open Facebook Messenger and click on your profile picture in the upper left corner.
  2. First select “Privacy” in the menu and then “App lock”.
  3. Click either “Touch ID Required” or “Face ID Required”.
  4. Decide when to block Facebook Messenger.

Protect Facebook Messenger with a secure password

If you use Facebook Messenger on Android or prefer not to use biometric data, it is at least advisable to protect your chat history with a secure password.

According to the Federal Office for Security in Information Technology (BSI), a secure password should meet the following categories:

  • The password should be easy to remember, so you don’t have to write it down anywhere.
  • The password should be at least eight characters long. In general, the longer the better.
  • The password should consist of a combination of upper and lower case letters, as well as numbers and special characters.
  • The full password should not be in a dictionary.

Facebook Messenger uses the same password as your Facebook account. To change this, click on your profile photo in the top left of Messenger, select “Account settings”, then “Security and login” and finally “Change password”. First enter your old password and then select a new, secure one.

Two is better: two-factor authentication in Facebook Messenger

A simple setting that you should activate to protect your account is the two-factor authentication. It is not enough to only have access to the password or biometric data.

After entering these, a code is also sent to one of your technical devices, which you must then enter in the app. This makes access to the app from outside extremely difficult.

For two-factor authentication in Facebook Messenger, you can decide whether you want to have the code sent to an authentication app or via SMS. Facebook recommends the app variant, supported apps are, for example, Duo Mobile (iOS/Android) or the Google Authenticator.

How to activate 2FA in Facebook Messenger

To enable two-factor authentication, just follow these steps:

  1. Open Facebook Messenger and click on your profile picture in the upper left corner.
  2. First select “Account Settings”, then “Security & Login” and finally “Use two-step authentication”.
  3. Now decide whether you want to use an authentication app or the notification via SMS as recommended by Facebook.
  4. Now enter your Facebook password.
  5. Either follow the instructions of the authentication app or enter the phone number to which the SMS should be sent.

© screenshot: connect

Two-factor authentication is quickly activated in Facebook Messenger.

Activate login warnings for Facebook Messenger

The Facebook Messenger triggers the login warnings when logins are made from an unknown location or device.

If you cannot assign such a registration, the message allows you to reset your password and thus protect your account.

You can freely decide whether you will receive such a message as a Facebook notification, via messenger or by email. Several of these options are possible at the same time.

How to enable login warnings in Facebook

Use the following steps to activate the login warnings:

  1. Open Facebook Messenger and click on your profile picture in the upper left corner.
  2. First select “Account Settings” and then “Security & Login”.
  3. Now click on “Receive login warnings for logins via unknown devices”.
  4. Select the way in which you want to receive the login warnings and, if necessary, add further email addresses to which the warning should be sent.

Secret conversations: Chat securely in Facebook Messenger

In contrast to normal messages, “secret conversations” in Facebook Messenger are end-to-end encrypted. As a result, the message remains encrypted throughout the transmission and can only be read by the chat participants.

In Messenger, you can activate this function for each chat individually by calling up the person’s profile (by clicking on the profile picture in the chat), then clicking on “Call secret conversation” and then selecting “Start secret conversation”.

How to Make All Messenger Chats “Secret Conversations”

However, we recommend activating the “Secret Conversations” for all contacts. As a result, all of your communication via Facebook Messenger is encrypted end-to-end. This is done as follows:

  1. Open Facebook Messenger and click on your profile picture in the upper left corner.
  2. Click “Privacy” and then “Secret Conversations”.
  3. Activate encryption by activating the slider under “Secret conversations”.

The alternative: these are the safest messengers

If the Facebook Messenger is too unsafe after activating the security settings, you can find secure alternative messenger apps using our comparison test “5 alternatives for Whatsapp”.

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About the Author: Jan Gruber

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