It’s no fun logging into Facebook and realizing that someone has hacked your account. But it happens, and the damage done can be a big deal for you and your friends and family.
Thankfully, there are a few things that you can do to prevent your Facebook from being hacked. And if it is hacked, there are also things you can do to fix the problem. Here’s how to do both of these.
How to Identify If Your Facebook Account Was Hacked
Usually, the hack is obvious. Your profile might start posting ads on your friends’ walls encouraging them to buy a pair of knock-off Ray-Bans, or something similar. Your hacked Facebook account might also send unwanted emails, change your profile information, or even change your email address and password. These are all bad scenarios and things you’ll want to avoid.
Thankfully, there’s an easy way to discover whether or not someone else has logged into your Facebook account.
Go to Settings and Privacy > Settings > Security and login > Where You’re Logged In and click See More. The information contained in the section will show where you’ve logged in and with what devices you signed in with.
Remember: If your password has been changed by a hacker, you need to act quickly to recover your Facebook account.
The Fix: If you do find a discrepancy with where you’ve logged in to Facebook, you can easily end the activity of that session, which should help safeguard you from any hacking attempt on that device.
Check Your Payment History on Facebook
There’s another way to check whether someone has hacked your Facebook account, and that’s by checking your purchase history. If you have a credit card stored on your account, it’s possible that hackers could make fraudulent purchases and drive up your bill.
To ensure you’re protected, go to Settings and Privacy > Settings > Facebook Pay, and check under your payment activity, which should be readily displayed. You can even check your Ads Manager payment history in the same section.
The Fix: If you notice any fraudulent charges, you can inform Facebook about them from this page. The company is pretty good with replying to concerns, whether that’s through the Facebook account or through its official Twitter account.
How to Inform Facebook of Hack Attempts
If you have any problems with hacking whatsoever, you should inform Facebook. Facebook is keen to know about hack attempts and wants to do its part to keep the site as safe and secure as possible.
The Fix: You can contact Facebook through its official Twitter account or you can send a message using your Support Inbox. You can find yours by going to Settings > Support Inbox.
How to Protect Your Facebook Account
Before we get into fixing your Facebook account, it’s best to know how to prevent would-be hackers from accessing your account. Setting a better password, avoiding spam, and increasing your privacy are just a few methods that could help safeguard your Facebook.
Use a Strong Password
You need to set a memorable password that isn’t susceptible to brute force attacks. Enabling fingerprint access is also good security advice, along with being convenient.
After you have taken care of the basics, there are a few more advanced options you should consider. You could enable email or login notifications, which you can do under Security and login > Setting up extra security > Login Alerts > Get alerts about unrecognized logins.
Under the security settings, you can also set up two-factor authentication. Doing so requires a security code to be typed when logging in from an unknown device or browser, and is another powerful deterrent to consider.
Take Precautions When Browsing Facebook
You also need to think about the preventative measures you can take to protect your Facebook account from hackers.
For example, you should avoid clickbait links. This might seem simple enough, but there are plenty of cases of people clicking spam on Facebook and ruining their computers. It happens. And it sucks. Don’t let it happen to you. Avoid spam links, which may even appear in your Messenger inbox.
You should also avoid fake websites that are made to look like Facebook and could steal your sensitive information. This attack vector is known as phishing and is not to be taken lightly. If you enter your login details into such a site, your Facebook account will be hacked in seconds.
Adjust Your Facebook Privacy Settings
Another step you can take is to increase privacy settings on your photos, posts, and tags.
Hiding these items might keep your privacy more intact, especially if you also set up friend lists. Doing so is a good way to ensure that your items are shown to specific people, and not to your entire list—or worse—the entire internet.
In terms of your Facebook account’s security, making the changes limits the number of comments you receive and restricts them to the people you trust most. This makes you less likely to click on a link from someone masquerading as your friend.
How to Fix a Hacked Facebook Account
If you have been unfortunate enough to suffer from a hacked Facebook account, don’t worry. It is possible to rectify the issue.
To minimize the damage you should:
- Change your Facebook password.
- Remove suspicious third-party applications.
- Alert your friends and family as soon as possible.
- Report the issue to Facebook via the company’s official channels.
If you need more detailed guidance, here’s a full guide on how to fix a hacked Facebook account.
Safeguard Your Facebook Privacy and Security
Hopefully, you now know how to tell if your Facebook account has been hacked and what to do about it.
And remember, while nothing is ever 100 percent protected, Facebook offers lots of ways to safeguard your account. Doing so means that hackers will be hard-pressed to obtain your data or personal information. By taking the necessary security precautions, you’re ensuring that you’re as protected as possible.
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