- In spite of improved security measures implemented by Facebook, evading hackers is no easy task.
- The first step you should take if you believe your account is compromised is logging in where possible. You should also disconnect any unfamiliar devices and change your password.
- Logging out of your account on your devices makes it more difficult for hackers to access your account.
Do you suspect that hackers have taken over your Facebook (FB) account? No need to worry. Facebook has heightened the security measures to protect your account. Earlier in the year, they launched ‘Facebook protection,’ a feature to secure user accounts and monitor probable hacking threats. The eligible users received an email from Facebook around March 2022 requesting them to turn on an advanced security feature. However, it’s not easy for Facebook to catch all bad actors from their end, but it has made it possible for users to recover their hacked accounts.
Keep reading to learn how to regain access to your compromised Facebook account and know when your account is hacked. I’ve also included reasons fraudsters would hack your account and the steps you will need to take to improve the safety of your account.
Hacked Facebook Account: Urgent Steps To Take
Just because you suspect your Facebook has been compromised does not mean it is true. First, confirm your doubts. After establishing that it’s been hacked, follow these steps to recover it;
Step 1: Try To Log In
If the hacker has not locked you out, go to settings and navigate to the security option, and log in. Scan through the devices logged into your account and immediately disconnect any that seem unfamiliar to you by clicking on the three vertical dots next to the specific devices. This will temporarily disconnect the hacker and buy you time to gain control of your account. Therefore, move on to step 2a or 2b immediately.
If you are dealing with an “Account Takeover” situation, in that case, you won’t be able to log in because the intruder has already changed your account details and password, locking you out completely. To help get your account back, contact Facebook through faceboook.com/hacked/page. Ensure you provide the same information (email or phone number) that you used to create the account.
Facebook will also want to know why you suspect your account has been hacked. Hence, look for a trusted friend who can help you establish some clues. Through their account, you can scan your account details and tell if the intruder has;
- Made any changes to your account details
- Send any posts on your timeline
- Send new friend requests
- Changed your private message to unprivate
After helping retrieve your account, Facebook will take you through the security measures you need to take to prevent future hacking attempts.
Step 2a.: Change Password
Update your account’s password right away. Otherwise, the hacker will change it before you can. Remember, they will be notified once you log them out.
If using a mobile device,
- Go to settings and privacy
- Select the password and Login option
- Scroll down to log in
- Tap change your password
- Type and retype your new password,
- Save changes
In case you are using a desktop
- Navigate to settings and privacy
- Click on settings
- Select Security and Login
- Move down to the login option
- Change password and save changes
In case you’d used the same password on any other site, change them as well.
Step 2b: Reset Password
If the intruder changed the password to your FB account, reset it. Go to Facebook and log in, then select the Forgot Your Password option. You will have to prove your identity by keying in your account’s email, phone number, or username. Facebook may also require more info like the name of your FB friends. You will then receive the instructions to reset your password
Step 3. Scrutinize Your Accounts Permission and Remove Any Malicious Apps
Go to the security menu and navigate to apps and websites. Check if there are any apps that you don’t recognize and erase them.
Step 4: Log Out Of All Your Devices
If you leave your account logged in, you make it easier for hackers to compromise your account. Thus, sign out of all sessions after changing your password and removing all malicious apps.
How to go about it on the Facebook website
- Click on your Facebook page or tap the down-arrow symbol in the upper right corner.
- Open Settings and Privacy
- Select Settings
- Go to Security and Login
- Scroll down and click/ta log out of all sessions
- Then log out.
How to go about it on the Facebook App
- Open the Facebook App
- Then the three horizontal lines on the top-right corner
- Scroll to the Settings and Privacy option, then tap the Settings
- Select the Security option and tap the Security and Login
- Tap where you’re logged in option
- Log out of all sessions, then log out
Facebook will log you off from all your signed-in devices.
Step 5: Log In and Tighten Your Facebook Account’s Security
Enable two-factor authentication (2FA). It is a security feature that adds extra protection to your account.
- Tap or click the three horizontal lines on the right side of your account
- Navigate to setting
- Select password and security
- Then enable two-factor authentication
Select your preferred security method
- Receive code on your mobile phone
- Receive code on third-party authentication app
- Get a security key on a compatible browser or device
Follow the Facebook instructions on your screen to set up this two-step verification method.
Step 6: Notify Your Friends
Send an alert to all your contacts. Let them know your account has been compromised. Request them to ignore any earlier posts, links, apps, or messages sent from your account.
Step 7: Double Check Your Facebook Privacy Settings
Often, we forget to review the security settings of our social accounts. You can’t ignore this vital security check-up after being hacked. Thus,
- While on your Facebook site, navigate to settings
- Open the Privacy option
- Double check your settings, make required updates, and remember to save changes.
It’s very frustrating and upsetting when someone has hacked, and possibly deleted, your Facebook account. It’s difficult to know what to do when this happens especially because Facebook doesn’t have a customer service department. In the below video from Guiding Tech, you will learn what you can do if this happens to your Facebook account.
Facebook Account Hacking: How to Know
Want to be able to tell if you’ve been hacked? This would only help if you can still access your account.
- Sign in to your account
- Open the more tab option
- Go to security and Login
- Click the “Where You’re Logged in” option and check through the devices that you’re logged in
Do you recognize any unfamiliar devices and locations? If yes, step in immediately and save your account. Follow the steps discussed above if you’re hacked.
Why Would a Cybercriminal Hack Your Social Media Account?
There are multiple reasons why someone would want to hack your FB account. Interestingly some are people you know who intend to harvest valuable information from you, tarnish your reputation, or blackmail you. A stranger aiming to use you as bait to reach their target, who might be one of your friends may also hack your account. Normally, hackers’ motives are purely malicious.
How To Protect Yourself from Hackers
- Always create a unique and strong password that an intruder can hardly crack
- Use multi-factor authentication for extra security
- Do not log in to your account using unsecured Wifi networks
- Do not open spam emails or links
- Always end your log in sessions and sign out. If you choose the “keep me logged in” option, you will be paving the way for cybercriminals to compromise your account.
Facebook is the most popular social media platform, with over 2.93 billion active users. It’s a great place to connect with millions of users and learn a lot about the world around you. It also allows you to upload photos of those dear to you. However, all these can be a nightmare if your account is hijacked. Thus, make it your business to always protect your FB account. Employ good practices that will help keep hackers at bay, and you will enjoy all the benefits of this priceless platform.
Interested in other articles related to social media and the internet? Click on the links below:
- Facebook: Complete Guide — History, Products, Founding, and More: The mere process of creating it very nearly landed Mark Zuckerberg in hot water. Find out the story of one of the most successful forms of social media of all time.
- Skype Guide: History, Origin, and More: Before there was WhatsApp or Telegram, there was Skype. Find out how it all began.
- Google: Complete Guide – History, Products, Founding, and More: Like Amazon, this corporation also started life in a garage before taking over the world. Here’s the story of how it all happened.
The image featured at the top of this post is ©TY Lim/Shutterstock.com.