Do you think twice before clicking a link on Facebook that a trusted friend posted?
Have you ever seen a message with a link that a friend posted on Facebook that looked suspicious? It may have been a post or email about a great offer for a deal that your friend took advantage of. It may have looked like a legitimate message, but something wasn’t quite right. Unfortunately, many unsuspecting Facebook user’s fall to this type of scam, click the link and open the door to hackers.
Recently, I spent the afternoon helping a victim of a hacked Facebook account. Unfortunately, she – we’ll call her “Mary” – clicked a link that one of her “trusted friends” had posted. That friend was a victim of a Facebook hijacked account. The damage for “Mary”:
- The hijacker posted a status update on Mary’s Facebook wall in first person stating that she allegedly took advantage of that included a malicious link.
- Next, the hacker set up 13 “BestFriends” groups with a series of numbers following “BestFriends” and added all of Mary’s friends to one of the groups.
- The hacker then posted a message in Mary’s name on each of the Facebook groups telling the friends about the unbelievable offer she “allegedly” took advantage of with the malicious link.
- Next, the hacker removed Mary’s administrative access to all the groups and made himself/herself the admin of the group. Facebook states that “the first admin and creator of this group” can delete the group. Unfortunately, Mary cannot delete the groups and all of her friends will see the rouge message.
The following is an image of the malicious message with obscured link that was posted on Mary’s wall and on all of the Facebook group pages:
Steps to Secure a Hacked Facebook Account
- Change your Facebook Password
“Mary” was unable to change her Facebook password at first. She actually had to log out of her Facebook account and request a new one. Luckily, the hacker had not changed her password and she was able to regain access to her account. Her new password is over 8 characters and includes upper case and lower case letters, numbers and symbols.
- Run a virus scan on your computer
Mary then ran a virus scan on her computer to make sure that her machine was not infected with a virus or malware.
Facebook account settings to help secure your account
Log into your account and go to “Account Settings” then to “Security”:
Enable “Login Alerts”
Be sure to enable login alerts to send you alerts when someone logs into your Facebook account from a computer or mobile device that you haven’t used before. You may select to be notified by email.
Enable Login Approvals
As a second layer of security, enable login approvals when someone tries to access your account from an unknown browser. If you attempt to login from an unknown/new browser, you will need to enter a security code.
Review “Where You’re Logged In”
Review your active sessions and end the activity of any session from a location you do not recognize. In Mary’s case, there was an active session to a location she had never been and she immediately closed that connection.
5 Tips to help keep your Facebook from being hacked
How do you keep your Facebook account from being hacked? In review of what happened to “Mary”, here are 5 tips to keep your Facebook account secure:
- Choose strong passwords. – Create passwords of at least 8 characters that include upper case and lower case letters, numbers and symbols.
- Enable login alerts in your Facebook security settings
- Enable login approvals in your Facebook security settings.
- Check where you are logged in by checking your Facebook account’s security section on a regular basis. Close activity from locations you do not recognize.
- Think twice before you click. If a link looks suspicious or a trusted friend sends you a message that doesn’t quite sound like something they would write that includes a link, think twice before your click. Never click a link in a suspicious message.
Has your Facebook account ever been hacked? If it has, how did the hacker gain access to your account? What steps did you take to prevent it from happening again? Please share your story in the comments below.
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