Facebook is one of the hottest social networks on the web right now. With more than 2 billion active users on a monthly basis, it’s no surprise that some will try to use it with malicious intentions.
With that being said, having your account hacked sucks. There’s no need to worry though. This article will guide you on the steps that you have to take so that you can have your account back in no time.
All in all, you’ve got to:
- Ensure that your account got hacked
- Change your password
- Report the account as compromised
- Remove any malicious apps
- Spread the word
Ensure that your Account Got Hacked
The easiest way to do that is to check the login sessions. You can do that by going into settings -> security and login.
Over there you can see the devices that have logged in to your account, the browser that they used to log in, and the city/country where they logged in from.
Check all of these and see if something doesn’t quite look right to you. Do keep in mind that cities are not entirely accurate.
Sometimes, you’ll notice that you appear as if you’re logged in from another city. However, the Country should absolutely be the same.
If someone logged in from another country, then that’s a very good indication that your account got hacked. (Unless you’re using a VPN, that could make it look you’re logging in from another Country.)
Found someone suspicious? Kick him out from your account. But, not yet. You should change your password before kicking him so that he won’t be able to log in again. We’ll talk about that in just a second
Other than that, do check for traces. Things like messages, posts, personal information, etc. If something looks different, then you could be hacked.
Change your Password
If your account is indeed hacked, then you should immediately change your password. You can do that by going to the settings -> security and login.
In case that the hacker has already changed your password, you can click on the “forgot password” link that’s on the login page of Facebook.
After that, you will be asked to give an email or any given method that you might pick to prove that you’re the owner of your account. Then you can reset your password.
When picking a new password, make it as long as possible with capital letters and symbols if possible. For your ease, prefer using Password managers.
That makes it very hard for someone to figure out and also effectively protects you from things like brute force attacks.
Report your Account as Compromised
If you’re still unable to access your account with the forgotten password method, then you have the last resort of reporting your account as compromised.
You can do that through Facebook’s help center. Facebook and its support will guide you through everything else that you need to do.
Remove any Malicious Apps
Malware is an ever-growing problem in the computer world. But, did you know that malicious programs exist for Facebook too?
The one who hacked your account might have also installed a few malicious apps on your Account.
You could have also installed a malicious app by mistake. There’s no need to feel any shame about it.
To remove malicious apps, go to settings -> apps. Then, you can remove an app by hovering your cursor over it and clicking on the X button.
Spread the Word
If your account gets hacked, then you’re not the only one in trouble. Your friends, family, and anyone who is connected to you through Facebook could also be in danger.
The hacker might try to infect them with malware, scam them, or maybe even hack their accounts.
That is why you should warn your friends and family as soon as possible. Tell them that your account was hacked and to avoid clicking on links that were recently sent by you through messages and posts.
Big Side Note
More often than not, Facebook accounts don’t get hacked by actual people. They get infected by automatic malicious apps that send spam/scam messages to other people.
So, in most cases, you should be able to have your account back into its healthy state by just removing the malicious programs that you have installed.
Don’t get me wrong, more than 600.000 hack attempts are happening every single day. It’s just that this number is extremely small compared to the users of Facebook.
Compromising an account by either figuring out the password of an individual, using brute force methods or in extreme scenarios hacking Facebook’s database, is rarer than the average person thinks.
Use strong and lengthy passwords, stay away from suspicious looking links, apps, etc; and stay safe.