Are you one of the many Facebook users that consistently find themselves getting “Hacked” and posting, “Don’t accept any friend requests from me”? If so, stop getting Facebook hacked! There are some easy ways to protect your privacy and potentially sensitive data that could harm more than just your reputation.
What is "Hacked?"
First of all, what does getting “hacked” really mean? Maybe someone is pretending to be you, a new account is opened with your picture and name, or perhaps other strange things are taking place. A simple rule of thumb is to avoid any app or request to provide specific or personal information. This includes those apps that will offer to make you a cartoon, show you your personal Disney character, or make you look way cooler than you really are. And those Facebook quizzes? Yup, stay away from those!
What to do if you have been hacked
If you have been hacked, change your Facebook password immediately! If you can’t change it, request a password reset. If you don't receive a password reset email, perhaps your email has been compromised as well. (Remember being asked to login to your email when you installed that cool emoji app thingy??) 😲 If this is the case, you'll need to change your email password too. Bad guys can do real damage if they find your email accessible!
Facebook makes it simple to report suspicious activity and you certainly should do so. Go to the Facebook Hacked page and fill out the form. (See image below) This helps Facebook police fight against future attacks. Facebook's Help Center has a section dedicated to Hacked and Fake Accounts that can provide you with more details.
The next step is to go to the "Security and Login" (#1) page in Facebook Settings to see if you recognize all the places you are logged in. (See image below) If you see something that doesn’t seem right, (an unfamiliar city, a foreign city, etc. #2) click the 3-dot menu to the right of the questionable city and select “Not You?” (#3). This should log you out and will help better secure your account. If there are several logins, go ahead and click that link at the bottom, "Log out of all sessions" (#4) to sign out everywhere. While you’re at it, make sure you recognize all the apps and sites that have access to your Facebook account and remove any that look sketchy. To do this, click the "Apps and Websites" (#5) link on the left side menu. Remove the apps you are not familiar with by clicking the "Remove" button on the right.
In General Account Settings, check all the email addresses Facebook has listed for you. If any exist that aren’t you, remove them. These steps should have removed any hackers with access to your account. Now it's time to change your password again. Passwords should be strong (8-12 characters and includes letters, numbers, and symbols), not used for any other login, or consist of things that would be easy for someone to guess. (Birthday, high school mascot, first pets name…FYI there is a reason nefarious apps ask for this kind of info, it’s so they can try to figure out your passwords, DUH). Ideally, you should use a password manager and have multi-factor authentication turned on everywhere possible. If anything weird happens again, change your Facebook and email passwords immediately.
The most common way people are hacked on Facebook (or other social media platforms) is by being tricked. Don’t click on the link to see who died and definitely avoid the message request to look at naked pictures of someone who wouldn’t talk to you in the real world!
- Be skeptical of everything! It sucks, but it’s the world we live in. 🤨
- Use strong passwords and use a password manager to help. 💪
- Use multi-factor authentication everywhere you can! 🔐
- Never enter personal information unless you are 100% sure it is a reputable source and then confirm it is. Twice! 💯
- Avoid the requests to make your profile pic look like a Marvel character, you’re cool enough as it is! 🦸♂️
And finally, if any of you can guess where the latest Facebook craze “New Profile Pic App” was created you get a medal. Or maybe a shot of vodka. (Russia is a good guess).
Safe surfing people!
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Chip Calissie is the Director of Sales & Marketing for Omni Strategic Technologies, a company that specializes in delivering exceptional tech support and best-in-class advisory services.