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5 ways to lock down your Facebook account for maximum security

Facebook's logo is seen through a magnifier in front of a displayed PC motherboard, in this illustration taken April 11, 2016.

Facebook's logo is seen through a magnifier in front of a displayed PC motherboard, in this illustration taken April 11, 2016.  (REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration)

You probably spend more time than you care to admit on Facebook, but I’ll bet you spend hardly any of it nosing around Facebook’s settings. In there, you’ll find five very important settings that give you extra layers of security.

1. Use Login Alerts

If someone uses your Facebook ID and password to log in to your account without your permission, wouldn't you like to know? When Login Alerts is turned on, you will be immediately notified if someone tries to log in to your account from a new place.

To turn on these alerts, log in to Facebook and open your Settings menu. Click on Security, Login Alerts, and Edit. Select Get notifications and Email login alerts, then save your changes.

Should you ever receive an alert from Facebook that someone has logged in to your account from an unrecognized location, it’s critical that you follow the instructions provided. The email will outline steps you should take to reset your password and secure your information.

But one thing you don’t want is to get an alert each time you log in through a device you use regularly. Luckily, you can create a list of trusted devices.

The first time you log in from a new location, on a new browser or with a new device, you’ll be asked if you want Facebook to remember it. Click Save Browser and Facebook won’t notify you of logins from that particular location, browser or device again. Be sure to never do this on a public or work computer.

2. Request Login Approvals

Facebook also tracks how you log in to your account. With a few steps, Facebook will monitor if someone is accessing your Facebook account from a previously unused device or browser. When this happens, a separate verification code will be needed to complete the login process.

To set up these approvals, select Login Approvals in Facebook’s Security Settings, then click the box that says, “Require a security code to access my account from unknown browsers.” Follow the prompts to receive a security code, and re-enter your password.

Once you've confirmed that you're making this request, a box will pop up that says: "Whenever a login is attempted from an unknown browser, we'll now ask for a security code. For the first week, in case you don't have your phone, you can turn off Login Approvals without a security code."

Click, "No thanks, require a code right away."

3. Keep extra codes on hand

If you turned on Login Approvals, you’ll be asked to enter a security code whenever you log in from a new location. This code can be sent via text or retrieved from the Code Generator section of your Facebook app settings menu.

But if you don’t have access to your phone or tablet, you’ll still need a code to log in to your account. For this reason, Facebook will generate 10 random codes you can use.

Get these backup codes by clicking on Login Approvals within your Facebook Security Settings. Check the link that says, “Get codes to use when you don’t have your phone.”

A list of 10 codes will appear. Print them out and keep them secure.

4. See where you're logged in and log out remotely

This could certainly save you in a pinch. If you've accessed your Facebook account on another computer or device and forgotten to log out, anyone could gain access to your private information. Sometimes you may not even remember that it happened, so it's important that you review this list regularly.

From your browser, in your Facebook Security Settings, you will see, “Where you’re logged in.” Click that link for a complete list of your current logins as well as a button to log out remotely from each.

These steps are not as straightforward when using the Facebook App. To help you out, click here for a video tutorial as well as step-by-step instructions.

5. Add trusted and legacy contacts

If for some reason you don't have access to your phone or email, and you don't have your security codes, you could have one of your closest Facebook friends generate login codes for you. If there's someone you truly trust, this is a good backup.

Legacy contacts are different. Although this is a downer to think about, in the event of your death you may want someone to look after your Facebook account. With the right permissions, your legacy contact could write a pinned post to your Timeline, respond to friend requests and update your profile picture and cover photo. You can even request that your account be automatically deleted.

You can make these adjustments in the Security Settings, under Trusted Contacts and Legacy Contacts.

Be extremely careful with these settings. For example, you don’t want any of your trusted or legacy contacts to end up on your list of exes.

Visit Komando.com for even more ideas to securing your Facebook profile. Or, to make Facebook work better for you, click here for five hidden Facebook tricks you need to start using.

Copyright 2016, WestStar Multimedia Entertainment. All rights reserved.

On the Kim Komando Show, America’s largest weekend radio talk show, Kim takes calls and dispenses advice on today's digital lifestyle, from smartphones and tablets to online privacy and data hacks. For her daily tips, free newsletters and more, visit her website at Komando.com.