Many people use Facebook to stay connected with friends and family, to keep up with news and current events, and to entertain themselves with funny videos, games, and other content. Users’ accounts often contain a great deal of personal information, including photos of friends and family. As more and more applications integrate into the Facebook platform, it’s more important than ever to ensure the security and integrity of your Facebook account.
How Can I Tell If My Facebook Has Been Hacked?
If your friends and family have received unusual messages from you through Facebook, if personal information like your name, birthday, email address, or password has been changed, if friend requests have gone out from your account to people you don't know, or if you see posts from your account that you didn’t write, your account may have been compromised.
Facebook keeps logs of all activity, including login activity, on your account. If you worry that your account has been accessed without your knowledge or authorization, there is an easy way to check. Click on the downward-pointing arrow in the upper right-hand corner of your Facebook page. When the menu drops down, select Settings; on the page that pops up, click “Security and Login.” It will list all the devices that you've used to log into your account and their geographic locations. If there is a login you don't recognize, you may have been hacked. To the right of each entry are three small, grey dots; click on these to see a dropdown menu that gives you the options “Not You?” to report an unauthorized login and “Log Out” to do so on that device.
What to Do
After logging out and reporting any unapproved devices, you should do these things immediately:
- Let your Facebook friends know your account was compromised and not to trust any links or install any apps that were sent from your account or posted on your wall during the period of suspicious activity.
- Change your password. If you’ve used the same password for other online accounts, especially email or financial accounts, make sure you change your passwords on those sites, too.
If the hacker reset your password and you are unable to gain access to your Facebook account, click the Forgot Your Password link underneath the Facebook login. Facebook will allow you to provide alternate information to identify yourself (like your email address, phone number, username, or your name and the name of one of your Facebook friends).
- Report the compromised account to Facebook using this link, and follow their instructions for any follow-up action.
How to Keep Your Account Safe
After you secure your account, make it safer by using Facebook’s built-in security features:
- Follow the above instructions to access the Security and Login page, and find “Setting Up Extra Security.” This section allows you to turn on login alerts, which will notify you any time your account is logged into.
- Next, click “Use two-factor authentication,” and then choose an extra layer of security from the list. This makes it more difficult for anyone (including you, unfortunately) to log into your Facebook account by requiring additional authentication, like entering a code sent to your phone, as well as your password.
- Finally, click “Choose 3 to 5 friends to contact if you get locked out,” which will enable some of your trusted contacts to help you easily obtain access to your account if you are hacked in the future.
Above all, it’s vital to develop good online habits to protect yourself against malware, spyware, viruses, and scams. Install and regularly update a quality antivirus program to help prevent attacks that could lead to data loss, file corruption, identity theft, or other issues.
The Dymin technicians can help you set up a complete, comprehensive antivirus program on your home or business computers. If you suspect you’ve already been compromised, we can help you fix the problem, restore your systems, and protect yourself going forward. Contact us to schedule an in-home consultation, or visit us in our showroom for expert advice or computer repair and service.