Social media is taking over the world. Half of the UK now have a Facebook account so it’s no longer something that just the kids do.
Facebook is a household name, people use it to connect with friends and family, share personal information including photographs and take part in online activity such as buying apps for game playing. Although Facebook goes to great lengths to keep all this personal data safe there is still a chance that your account could be hacked.
There are several ways to determine if your account has been hacked. The most obvious one being that you are no longer able to log in. However in many cases unauthorised use of your account is highlighted by content being posted on your timeline that would not be normal for you to do so or messages sent to Facebook friends on your behalf that they find questionable.
If you believe your account has been compromised, the first important step is to report this as such to Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/hacked
Facebook takes the issue of looking after your data very seriously and has a robust protocol in place to help you regain control. Following the on screen prompts you will be asked to change your password on both your Facebook and email accounts. It is a good idea to set up login approval once the account has been reinstated.
Login approval functionality notifies you when someone tries to access your account from a device that is different – it can determine this using the IP address. The notification is usually a code sent as a text message to the mobile number Facebook has on record for you. You cannot proceed with logging into Facebook on this new device without a code.
One of the most common ways to get hacked is via the apps you approve to access your Facebook profile. Check that no apps have suddenly popped up that you did not authorise. This can be done via Account Settings > Apps. Take the opportunity to remove apps that you no longer use either.
It is possible that the source of the hacking is from a virus on your electronic device unleashed by malware such as a Trojan or keylogger. Just to be on the safe side we recommend performing a full security and virus scan. If you do not have access to anti-virus software there are free versions available – such as Microsoft Security Essentials, Avira and Avast.