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Saturday, October 13, 2012

Scary Facebook setting you have to change now!

Privacy concerns just never seem to end on Facebook. Earlier this week, a security researcher found what seemed to be a glaring flaw in Facebook's security. In many cases, it could allow a total stranger to find you and your mobile phone number.

All the person has to do is search for any mobile number using the site's mobile search function. If you have your number on Facebook - or have the Facebook app on your phone - your name will pop up.

When the security researcher went public with this information, Facebook said it's a feature, not a bug. That means it probably won't be fixed. Though Facebook might not care about your privacy, I do. So, I'm going to tell you how to stop it.

The problem lies with a simple privacy setting. By default, Facebook allows anyone to search for your profile by your mobile number. You can change this so strangers can't look you up.

Click the upside-down triangle in the right corner of your profile. Go to Privacy settings and then How You Connect. Set "Who can look you up using the email address or phone number you provided?" to Friends.

You can remove your phone number from Facebook as well. However, this prevents you from using two-factor authentication on your Facebook account, which I do recommend. Plus, if you use the Facebook mobile app, your number is permanently attached to your account.

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