You must have heard at one point or another about someone’s Facebook account or other social media account getting hacked or you wake up to the news that a respectable person in town posted some s*xually-explicit content on their Facebook page, which at the end of the day they didn’t do, but only got hacked (or so they claim).
First of all, if your Facebook account got hacked, what does it mean? It can be any of the following
- Some dude is able to post to Facebook, comment, like pages and do other stuff without your consent.
- The perpetrator of the act has completely taken over your account from you and you can no longer access it.
How is it possible for me to get hacked?
The bad guys have lots of ways by which they get this done and it may also be due to some mistakes or negligence on your part or you just simply got unlucky. The list below shows a few reasons why you might get hacked, but it’s by no means exhaustive.
- You are using a weak password that someone can easily guess or brute-force (When someone tries to log in to your account by taking automated guesses through the use of a computer program). (Check out my post titled “How to form multiple unique strong passwords and remember them” to learn how to deal with this)
- You give out your password(s) to other people for whatever reason or excuse and they betrayed you.
- You gave permission to a malicious app to access your account.
- You visited a malicious website in the same web browser in which you are logged in to your Facebook account and the website was able to access your account using a method called Cross-Site Request Forgery (CSRF). Sorry, we won’t be discussing CSRF because it’s outside the scope of this article.
- Other high-tech methods and so on and so on.
What if you got hacked? Scary, right? Well, may be it’s not so scary after all. There are steps that could be taken to prevent it from happening. To learn more about the steps, you can read my article titled “How to secure your Facebook account in 6 easy steps“. However, if you were to find yourself in this kind of situation, how do you deal with it?
Now, this is what to do if your Facebook account got hacked
- If you can still log in to your account, then you are in luck. The first step is to immediately change your password. To do that, go to “Settings“, then click the “Edit” link that appears in front of “Password“.
- After changing your password, you would be asked if you want to log out of other devices. Select “Log me out of other devices” so that even if your hacker is currently logged-in to your account he/she would be logged out.
- Go to the “Apps” menu. This would display all the apps that currently have access to your account, whether you granted access to them intentionally or not. You should remove anyone that looks suspicious or remove everything to be sure.
- The first three(3) steps above would effectively lock out your hacker and prevent him/her from doing further damage. Now, the last step is to do some clean-up. Delete all the unwanted posts that the bad guy may have posted without your consent, delete comments, unlike pages. etc. Just undo everything that the person may have done without your consent. To be able to do this effectively, you would have to go to your profile page, then click the “View Activity Log” button, which is only visible to you and would show you all your activity on Facebook and you can easily undo each unwanted activity one after another.
- Facebook also requests that you report all cases of been hacked to them by visiting the URL http://www.facebook.com/hacked
Slideshow for getting these actions done on a Desktop
Slideshow for getting these actions done on a mobile device
All the steps that we have discussed so far can only be done if you are still able to log in to your account. However, if you are unable to log in to your account again after been hacked, you would need to take a different set of steps. Furthermore, there are steps that you can also take beforehand to help you regain your account after somebody might have hijacked it. I’ll be talking about this in another post that I would be publishing in a few days time. Look out for it or simply subscribe to our updates by entering your first name and email below.