Is it Safe to Log In with Facebook or Google?
Many modern websites allow users to make Google and Facebook logins when making an account. The point of this option is to offer a convenient login solution to users who may not want to sign in with an email address. It’s a fast and straightforward solution that appeals to anyone who regularly uses Facebook or Google.
However, you may be wondering if it’s safe to log in with Facebook or Google. While there are some notable risks that you should be aware of, this option also has its benefits. This guide offers a detailed look at what happens when you sign in with your Google or Facebook credentials.
What Occurs When Signing In With Google or Facebook?
Most websites will require you to create an account if you want to purchase something or access their services. Creating an account typically involves registering with an email address and generating a new password. You might also need to create a username for the account, yet it would be another username that you would be tasked to remember.
→ Dig Deeper: Create Strong Passwords with a Password Generator
Once you have signed up, the website will likely send a confirmation email to your address, which you would need to enter to confirm that you made the account in question. This process is lengthy and can be frustrating to perform every time you want to join a website; that’s why many opt for Google and Facebook logins.
The lengthy process of creating a new and separate account is why some websites offer Google and Facebook logins. In this way, they can provide instant personalization to the new account you’re using. It means that when you log in to a third-party website using your main social accounts, the website will automatically get all your basic information and apply it to the new account you’ve made. It will save you time and energy.
The best aspect of logging in with Google or Facebook is that the website would never gain your password, keeping your connection secure and information safe. Instead, Google or Facebook will essentially confirm that your credentials are legitimate before bringing you to the website.
Is It Safe?
While logging in to a website with Google or Facebook is highly convenient and takes practically no time, there are some risks that you should know. Even though the website doesn’t gain access to a password, it will still gain access to your email address or public profile, the latter of which may not be preferable to creating your account with a username and a password. Because of these tradeoffs, you must weigh the pros and cons of logging in with Google or Facebook.
Signing In With Facebook
It’s not bad to sign in with Facebook to other websites, as long as these websites are reputable, use a security protocol, and have an https:// in the URL. Facebook does offer some control over the amount of information that you share. But if you don’t want the website to gain access to an ample amount of personal information, consider altering your Facebook account’s privacy settings.
Aside from your profile pic, you could change your entire privacy settings to make sure that your friends can only view your posts other sensitive information. On the other hand, some services and websites require this information to function, which means that limiting access to your profile could negatively affect your user experience on the website in question.
Signing In With Google
It’s also not bad to sign in with Google to other websites, as long as these websites are reputable, use a security protocol, and have an https:// in the URL. Google’s security technology helps detect suspicious account manipulation to protect your account better, and this protection extends to third-party websites. Security is not at risk here, but you may want to modify your privacy settings to control the information you want to share.
Benefits of Signing In with Your Google or Facebook Account
In most situations, making Google and Facebook logins in a new website to create an account is safe. There is a range of benefits that you can gain from taking this route.
Google and Facebook Have Ample Amounts of Security
One key benefit of logging in with your Google or Facebook account is that both platforms have ample amounts of security compared to the website you’re joining. Let’s say that you decide to make an account on a website you’re interested in by creating a username and password, both of which would be attached to your email.
Likely, the website you’re joining doesn’t have the amount or quality of security features that Google and Facebook have. If the website is hacked, your email, password, and other sensitive information could be stolen. Facebook and Google have the security features and technology necessary to stop most hacking attempts from happening, which means that it’s wiser to trust your information with these platforms.
→ Dig Deeper: How To Prevent Your Emails Being Hacked
You Don’t Need to Remember Numerous Passwords
Another core benefit of logging in with Google or Facebook is that you won’t be tasked with remembering numerous passwords. Unless you decide to use a password manager, you’ll need to create numerous passwords, which you’ll be required to remember or write down in a secure location.
Many internet users make the mistake of using duplicate passwords for different sites or opt to use weak and too short passwords. Suppose one of the websites you use is hacked because your account is tied to a weak password. In that case, the hacker may be able to identify patterns in the passwords that you create, making it more likely that they will gain access to other accounts you use across the Internet. By signing in with Google or Facebook, you reduce the number of passwords that you need to use, which invariably decreases the likelihood of hackers gaining access to your accounts.
Access Can Be Revoked
When you log in to a website with your Google or Facebook credentials, both platforms will send a token to the website that confirms that you have an account with them. This token can be effectively revoked, ensuring that the website in question will no longer have access to your Google or Facebook account. Keep in mind that many websites don’t offer functionality that allows users to delete their accounts, which makes Google and Facebook login options preferable.
Two-Factor Authentication Boosts Security
One of the more beneficial aspects of logging in with your Google or Facebook account is that these platforms include two-factor authentications (2FA), which invariably boosts the site’s security in question. Even if your account has a strong password, there’s always a possibility that the password could be hacked. However, you can significantly reduce this possibility by adding 2FA to your account.
Two-factor authentication is designed to add another layer of identity verification. While this specific technique can work in different ways, it usually involves a 4 to 6 digit number sent to your smartphone number. If a hacker happens to guess your password, using 2FA allows you to verify the login attempt before a hacker can gain access to your account.
You Won’t Lose Much if the Website is Hacked
If the website you log into with Google or Facebook is ever hacked, you shouldn’t lose much personal information or data. As touched upon previously, the main thing that the website will have access to is your public profile on Google or Facebook, which shouldn’t include much personal information. The website itself only has a token provided by Google or Facebook. Since you didn’t create an account on the website, there won’t be any account information available for hackers to gain access to.
Consider Using a Password Manager
If you don’t want to log in to a website with your Google or Facebook account, you must create strong passwords for your accounts that are unlikely to be hacked. A password manager is a special type of software application designed to provide you with stronger passwords and remember any passwords you create. This application will directly store and manage every password that you made, which means that you’ll never need to use the “Forgot Password” option in the future.
Most password managers will store your passwords within an encrypted database protected by a master password. When you decide to log into a website account, the password manager will automatically retrieve and fill in the password, saving you an ample amount of time. They can also generate highly secure passwords automatically, which is very useful when creating a new account.
While a password manager is highly recommended for managing any password you’ve made, you might still want to log into your Google or Facebook account whenever possible to reduce the number of passwords you need to use online.
→ Dig Deeper: What Is a Password Manager?
Tips for Improving Password Security
Even if you have accounts on 30 to 40 websites and applications, it’s important that every password you create for an account is unique, which reduces the potential that a hack for one of your accounts will spread to other accounts. Some of the best practices that you should adhere to when attempting to create strong passwords include:
- Your password should be at least 7 to 8 characters long.
- Special symbols and numbers should be included whenever allowed on a website.
- Make sure that you never use personal data.
- There should be no sequential patterns in your passwords.
- Use lowercase and uppercase letters.
- Try to avoid using real words in your passwords.
- Keep your personal and corporate passwords separate.
- Change passwords every month.
- Don’t write any of your passwords down or store them in a document.
Using giant and reputable social media accounts like Facebook and Google is safe, as long as you’re a responsible user who knows how to handle and improve your privacy and security. Facebook and Google already have built-in security features to protect your account and personal information.
Making Google and Facebook logins through a third-party website is a different matter, but it’s also a fantastic option for people who want to save time. It’s safe as long as your Google or Facebook account is outfitted with two-factor authentication and a strong password. While several additional options can help you improve an account’s security, the best way to keep hackers at bay is to limit the number of accounts you create and the passwords you use. With the tips mentioned above, creating strong and unique passwords for any website you use should be simple and straightforward.
If you’re looking for more ways to protect your personal data online, McAfee has the necessary tools, software, and resources to help you. We can help you add layers of security to your Facebook, Google, and other social accounts through our WebAdvisor, Identity Theft Protection, or Mobile Security.