Whether your account has been hijacked or you simply want to increase security, here’s everything you need to know about restoring a Facebook Account That Has Been Hacked.
You attempt to access Facebook in order to wish a buddy a happy birthday, but something is wrong. You’re wondering how to restore a compromised Facebook account.
TikTok and Instagram are fascinating social media sites, but Facebook is the big fish in the water, with roughly 3 billion active users globally. It is also a popular target for cybercriminals. Although there is no official figure for the amount of hijacked Facebook accounts, one pre-pandemic estimate put the figure at roughly 160 million every day.
According to SonicWall’s 2022 Cyber Threat Report, the likelihood of being hacked on Facebook is higher than ever. As a result, it’s a good idea to educate yourself on how to regain access to your Facebook account.
Perhaps more importantly, learning how to keep these thieves from obtaining your personal information in the first place is essential. After all, user-posted information is frequently what attracts hackers to your account.
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The bad guys may quickly access the personal information you submit without thinking twice — birthdays, anniversaries, hometowns, and more. “That’s all tasty information for hackers,” says Kevin Cleary, interim information security officer at the University of Buffalo in New York.
Just as it’s critical to protect yourself against Facebook scams and Facebook Marketplace scams — really, any online scams — critical it’s to take precautions against hackers. Continue reading to find out how to prevent getting hacked and how to restore a compromised Facebook account, as well as how to identify if your computer has been hacked.
How to Hack a Facebook Account
There are two basic ways for your information to be released, and both involve data breaches. In the first scenario, Facebook suffers a data breach, similar to the one disclosed last year, which compromised the accounts of over 530 million users. There isn’t much you can do to avoid such a breach.
However, you do have influence over the other reason of a hacked Facebook account. It all comes down to a simple password error.
A sloppy, re-used password might make it simple for hackers to move from stealing one company’s data to accessing your Facebook account. “People use the same password for Facebook as they do for other sites, so if there’s a breach at a tiny firm, your password is revealed,” explains Cleary. “Cybercriminals attempt that password on various sites, including social media.”
And it’s not only websites that can disclose your previously used password. When it comes to your Facebook account, ordinary items such as Smart TVs may be hacked and utilized to further a hacker’s purpose.
Symptoms of a hacked Facebook account
If your Facebook account is hacked, you’ll probably discover it out (or receive notification from a friend) rather fast. That’s because the warning indications are quite evident — far more visible than the warning signs that you’re going to be hacked. According to Facebook, the following things can occur if your Facebook account is hacked:
- Email, password, birthdate, and/or name changes
- Friend invitations sent to strangers
- Messages that you did not send
- Posts posted by others that you did not make
How to Restore a Hacked Facebook Account
It’s disconcerting to know that a cyber predator may view all of your intimate images and passionate posts — and claim to be you — and contact your friends and family members. If you still have access to your hijacked Facebook account, the instructions below will show you how to recover it.
1. Change your password straight away.
- Choose “Settings and Privacy.”
- Choose “Password and Security.”
- Click “Change Passwords.”
2. Determine which devices are logged into Facebook.
The “Password and Security” page also includes a list titled “Where You’re Logged In.” If there’s a login that you don’t recognize, follow these steps:
- Click on the suspicious login.
- Select “Secure Account.”
- Follow the on-screen steps, which will walk you through exactly how to recover your hacked Facebook account.
3. Notify Facebook
Even if you recognize all of the logins on your account, you should notify Facebook that something is wrong with your account. Here’s how:
- Go to the “Password and Security” page.
- Choose “Get Help.”
- Report the event.
4. Inform the authorities about the cybercrime.
While it is seldom necessary to contact your local police station, the FBI suggests submitting a report with the Internet Crime Complaint Center at ic3.gov.
How to Recover a Facebook Account That Has Been Hacked
1. Make use of backup data.
If your account has been compromised, go to Facebook.com/hacked. It will ask for the phone number you used to create the account. Facebook will assist you in regaining access to your account and will advise you on future security measures.
If Facebook detects unusual behavior on your account, it may attempt to safeguard you by locking it. You may unlock the account, but only after a year. Following that, the corporation may decide to erase it.
How to Keep Your Facebook Account Safe
You wouldn’t believe what hackers can do with only your mobile phone number, therefore it’s up to you to make the process as tough for them as possible.
The good news is that you have more power than you believe in keeping your account from getting into the wrong hands, according to Cleary. Take these precautions to reduce the possibility of your account being hacked.
1. Make your password more secure
“Think of it as a passphrase with at least 16 characters, rather than a single word,” Cleary advises. You should avoid using this password on any other websites. Cleary suggests adopting password management software if remembering all of your passwords becomes a chore. And, whatever you do, avoid passwords that are easy to guess.
2. Enable two-factor authentication
This feature is arguably the greatest cybersecurity trick of all time. Here’s how it works: If Facebook detects a login attempt from a device or browser that you haven’t previously used, it will prompt you for a password as well as a verification code, which the site will give to you through SMS or an app. Only then will you get access.
To do so, go to Facebook’s “Password and Security” page. Select “Two-Factor Authentication” and proceed with the process.
3. Disable associated apps
It’s handy to use your Facebook account to sign in to third-party applications and websites, but it’s not the greatest choice when it comes to cybersecurity. This allows these applications access to your data. Go to “Applications and Websites” in your account settings to see which apps and websites you’ve linked to your Facebook account. There, you will find a list of associated applications and websites that you may uninstall.
4. Implement additional security measures
Consider this Facebook hack an emergency button: how to retrieve your Facebook account through friends. On the same “Password and Security” screen, you may sign up to get an alert about an unrecognized login and select three to five trusted friends to receive links and codes from Facebook on your behalf. You may contact those friends for the information and use it to restore your hijacked Facebook account.
5. Keep your personal details to a minimum
While the excellent dinner you had at a restaurant last week is unlikely to be useful to hackers, basic personal information may be. “Do you really need to include your marital status or where you were born?” Cleary wonders. “Leaving out those facts reduces the likelihood of thieves being able to reverse engineer security questions to get access to your online banking and other accounts.”
- Kevin Cleary, interim information security officer at the University at Buffalo in New York
- Statista: “Number of monthly active Facebook users worldwide as of 2nd quarter 2022”
- SonicWall: “2022 SonicWall Cyber Threat Report”
- New York Post: “Big Brother 2.0: 160,000 Facebook Pages Are Hacked a Day”
- NPR: “After Data Breach Exposes 530 Million, Facebook Says It Will Not Notify Users”
- FBI Internet Crime Complaint Center: “Filing a Complaint with the IC3”