‘I think my Facebook was hacked’:
What should you do?

Choose 3 to 5 friends to contact
if you get locked out of your own account

A few months ago, my tita’s Facebook account was hacked. These hackers are getting more and more sophisticated and really chat with you like they know you. My “tita” asked for money to be deposited in another account, which was not an unusual request since she’s from the US maintaining a local bank account here in Manila.

But what was unusual was the style of messaging and the incorrect grammar. (Thank god for a family of grammar nazis!) That was not the way she would usually text me. So I checked with her (using her mobile number and not through social media messaging) and confirmed my suspicion—that the message did not come from her.

These are the steps we take to ensure all our accounts are safe:

  1. Check if your Facebook account has been hacked. It may have been hacked if your email or password has changed. Details of your account (such as name and birthday) have changed. Friend requests have been sent to people you don’t know. Messages and posts have been sent that you didn’t create. Review your activity log to remove any posts that you didn’t create. If you suspect that your account has been hacked, report it here:

  2. Protect your password. Don’t use your password anywhere else online. Needless to say, never share it with others. I recommend using auto-generated passwords with complex combinations. I also use Apple’s password tool on my device that can be opened only by face recognition.

  3. Set up two-factor authentication signup. Go to Security and Login settings and enable two-factor authentication. Once this is set up, you’ll be asked to enter a login code to confirm your login attempt from a device or browser that is not recognized by Facebook.

  4. Learn to protect yourself from malicious software that can compromise your account. Malicious software is any harmful application designed to gain access to your device. If your account is infected by a malicious software, it can follow people and pages you don’t want to, send messages, etc. Make sure your web browser is always updated, remove suspicious browser add-ons and run safety scans on your device. (Use a malware scanner that works for you. These are available online.)

  5. Use Facebook’s security checkup tool.

  6. Set up Trusted Contacts in Security and Login settings. Choose three to five friends to contact if you get locked out of your own account. You can get a recovery code from your trusted contacts that can only be accessed by them. Make sure your trusted contact is someone you talk to on a regular basis, someone who would recognize your voice if you spoke to them. Also make sure you send your recovery code in person or over the phone to prevent somebody else from accessing it.

  7. Log out of all other devices. Manage Where You’re Logged In in the Security and Login settings. This shows a list of devices where you are currently logged in, including date, time, and device type. Find the session you want to end and click Log out.

Other social media apps have different security and login settings, but these are the basic ones I would cover to make sure my accounts are safe.

About author


Spanning two decades of a career in publishing, she began to see the lockdown as a priceless boon – for it has given her the leisure of unleashing her potential as an amateur baker, writer, and digital publisher.
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