Do you know someone who was locked out of their Facebook accounts? Are you worried that this might happen to you, too?
With about 2.9 billion active users every month, scammers are looking for ways to take advantage of the ongoing rise in the number of Facebook users. Messenger hacking is on the rise, and it’s crucial to protect your account now more than ever.
Even if you’re generally careful, hackers can still access your Facebook account. Scammers are getting more creative and innovative in their ways of tricking people into giving them their personal information or access to their accounts.
In this article, you’ll learn about the proper security measures to secure your Facebook account and the best defense against Messenger hacking.
We’ve reviewed reputable sources on the web on how to deal with Facebook identity theft and how to recover from it. Don’t miss out on any of the steps to avoid leaving your account vulnerable to fraudsters.
Steps to take if your Facebook Messenger is hacked
If your Messenger is hacked or you suspect that it is, you must act fast. Here’s what you should do:
1. Change your password
You’re in luck if the hacker didn’t change your password yet. Log in to your account immediately and change it.
- Go to Settings
- Choose Security and Login
- Change Password
- Enter your current password
- Enter your new password
- Click Save Changes
2. Retake control of a hacked Facebook account
It’s not the end of it all if your Facebook account was compromised. There are things you can do to regain access.
Go to Facebook.com/hacked if you were locked out from your Facebook account.
You need to enter the phone number you used to create your Facebook account. Facebook will help you retake control of your account and recommend effective security features, so your account will be protected against hackers.
If the hacker has already changed your password, you can still regain your password. Here’s what you need to do:
- Go to Facebook’s login page.
- Click on Forgot Your Password.
- Type in the email or phone number associated with your account.
- Choose from the list of options that Facebook will provide in resetting your password. It may involve receiving a code via email or phone for the password reset.
- Type in a new password. Make sure it’s unique and strong, which is a combination of letters, numbers, and special characters.
- Save changes.
Hopefully, the hacker hasn’t changed the email and password associated with your account. Otherwise, this may no longer work.
3. Check for unusual logins and activities
Check if your Facebook account has any unusual logins from devices or locations that are unfamiliar to you.
You should also check for any strange activities like searching or visiting pages that are unfamiliar to you, sending messages, or creating posts that you didn’t do.
In cases like this, you should log yourself out of all the listed devices. Then, protect your account by changing your password.
4. Get help from Facebook Messenger support
If you notice suspicious activities like sending spam messages to your contacts, you must notify Facebook right away. Go to Facebook’s Report Compromised Account page.
This option is available even if you got locked out of your account and can’t change your existing password. Facebook will do everything to help you recover your account.
However, the resolution won’t be immediate. Facebook may take up to a week to process your requests, but they’ll do all they can to help you fix your account problems.
5. Boot all users out
After regaining access to your account, you should check all the apps that have access to it.
Go to Settings and click on App. Under App Settings, you’ll find all the apps that have access to your account.
Sites these days require registration, and one of the options is to log in using your Facebook account to save time. It’s an easy and convenient option, but it also opens you up to apps that are infected with a virus.
Now is the perfect time to review and remove unfamiliar third-party apps that are using your Facebook credentials. You can still log in to these apps, but you’ll have to enter your credentials manually. It may appear cumbersome, but it’ll help protect your account.
6. Alert your friends and family
Warn your friends and family that your Facebook Messenger was compromised. Ask them to ignore the messages that your account may have sent.
Alert them about spammy links, messages, or posts that were sent by your account. Explain that you were hacked, and they shouldn’t click on any links that your account may have sent them so their accounts won’t get compromised, too.
What are the signs that your Facebook account was hacked?
You would know if your Facebook account was hacked if you know how to look for warning signs.
Hackers often leave a trace if they manage to get into your Messenger. You can check it by doing the following:
- Go to the Account menu
- Choose Settings & Privacy
- Go to Settings
- Click Security and Login
- Check the list of devices that logged into your Facebook account
- Check the time when they were last active.
- Your account may be compromised if you see unfamiliar sessions.
- Remove any unknown device
Here are the red flags to watch out for:
- Your email or password was changed without your knowledge.
- Your name or birthday was changed.
- Your account sent friend requests to unknown individuals.
- Your account sent messages you didn’t write.
- Your account made posts or ads you didn’t create.
- You have been locked out of your account.
- Your account made purchases on Facebook you didn’t authorize.
- Your account has suspicious login activities.
Be sure to take the necessary action if you notice any suspicious activities in your Facebook account.
What happens when your Facebook Messenger gets hacked?
If you use your Facebook Messenger all the time, you probably have a lot of messages that you don’t want to be made public.
Hackers who manage to get access to your account will review your messages, steal important information, and send messages to your contacts to ask for money, confidential information, etc.
Aside from that, the hacker will also change your email and password so you can no longer access your account. You won’t be able to log in to your Messenger, and you’ll have to report it to Facebook for investigation.
There are also instances when, instead of a hacker, malware will be the reason behind your compromised Facebook Messenger. When this happens, your account will create spam posts or send spam messages.
These messages may contain infected links. If you send these messages and the recipient clicks on them, their Facebook Messenger will also be compromised.
How to avoid getting hacked?
Scammers use different methods to hack your Facebook account. But there are things you can do to reduce the risk of your account getting compromised.
Here are some simple yet effective security measures to protect your Facebook account:
- Check if you recognize all the websites and apps that have access to your Facebook account.
- Check if you recognize all the devices or locations you’re logged in to.
- Check if you recognize all the email addresses that Facebook has listed for you.
- Use a unique and strong password.
- Turn on the two-factor authentication for an additional layer of protection.
- Don’t click on links you don’t recognize.
- Double check the link whenever you log in. Don’t type in your password if the link isn’t http://www.facebook.com.
- Sign up for Facebook alerts so you’ll receive notifications about unrecognized logins.
- Limit the information you share online about your personal activities.
Securing your Facebook account may seem like a tedious task. But you’ll be glad that you did all these things when you realize just how serious and damaging it can be to your personal or financial life when your account gets hacked.
Social media scams are prevalent these days as scammers continue to find ways to take advantage of consumers’ online activities to steal their money or identity. Facebook hacking is on the rise, and you need to remain vigilant.
Stay skeptical and never click on suspicious links to avoid getting hacked.