June 15, 2012 at 3:25 PM ET
Facebook is taking steps to educate its members about how to stay safe online and help them prevent their accounts from becoming compromised.
The social networking giant has started posting security tips at the top of each user's profile page, with links to information about different types of scams they are likely to see.
The first tip, "Know how to spot a scam," outlines common ploys cybercrooks often use, including requests to "please send money," emails asking for your password and notices that someone else registered for an account using your email address.
The scam-spotting section also informs users on how to keep their accounts secure, with helpful advice such as, "Think before you click," and "never click suspicious links — even if they come from a friend or a company you know."
In a short video accompanying the tips, a Facebook security engineer discusses the "free airline" and " valuable gift certificate offers," which he says you should immediately recognize as scams. He also mentions scams that promise to show you who viewed your profile, and said, "It's just not possible on Facebook."
If you spot a scam, Facebook's "Take Action" tips show you exactly how to flag the offending post and block a user.
Facebook's second tip is an important one: Choose a one-of-a-kind password, and never share it with anyone. A weak password is one of the top ways accounts are broken into and tampered with.
Facebook also sending more visible and frequent prompts to members asking them to confirm their mobile phone number so, in the event of your account is hacked or you forget your password, Facebook can text you.
(That's called "out-of-band authentication" -- confirmation of identity through a medium other than the Internet. This is more secure than emailing a new password -- if someone took control of your Facebook account, they might have control of your email as well -- but it's not foolproof.)
These are all basic security tips, but with nearly a billion members worldwide, they could go a long way in keeping users safe from the hordes of scams that pop up on the network every day.