In the new digital world, privacy is an illusion. We basically live most of our lives on social media. Our social network accounts are accurate documentation of our feelings, our outings, our relationships, our political and religious views, and even our diets. Complete strangers have access to the minute details of your new marriage or the house you’re remodelling. And, ironically, these high ranked intelligence-quality reports on your life are written down by you. The number of things a stranger or a person with malicious intentions can do with this free information is infinite. Your Facebook account alone, based on the information you willingly share with the general public, can get you in trouble. So what about having your Facebook hacked? 

|SEE ALSO: Five Tips for Online Safety for Kids|

Easiest Way to Get Your Facebook Hacked 

Take a minute to think of the amount of private information you have on Facebook. And by private information we don’t mean the information that is supposed to be private but is shared with all of your friends; we mean the private information you would only want to be shared with specific trusted friends, or with none at all: chat history, pictures, addresses, and customized posts. Consider also your Facebook search history: the pages you checked and the profiles you especially care for, the list of your blocked friends and that of your close friends, and many more. Most of these features are designed to give you the safety and privacy you’d need to carry on digital social life.

The easiest way for anyone with the intention to have your Facebook hacked is to simply rely on your negligence. We often leave our Facebook accounts open on our laptops and, out of habit, on public computers. If you share the room with someone, you might want to log out and avoid “saving your password” on your computers. If you use Facebook on your work computer, remember that closing the screen is not enough to log you out. Anyone can claim your account, use it, change your password, or just post stuff in your name as a prank.

“The problem exists between the keyboard and the chair.” In most cases, hacking happens due to a mistake on your part: you fall for a scam or you’re too careless with your online accounts. People tend to choose easy passwords that they can remember, such as the name of their favourite movie, their birth date, or such. And similarly, they choose even easier more predictable answers for their security questions. Anyone who knows you or looks through your public information enough can make an educated guess on your password or the answer to your security question to retrieve your passwords. If you log in on your Facebook account in a public place, you might also enter your password in plain letters and not encrypted. Anyone around you can see the written password or track the movement of your fingers as you type down a short predictable password.

Other more complicated methods include cloning a trusted webpage to trick you into typing down your login information only to steal them later. Others could install a program on your computer that saves your keystrokes, with which they can easily pinpoint all of your passwords. An unprotected Wi-Fi network won’t mean just a stolen Internet service, but a compromise of your security and privacy as well.

Read more on the detailed methods of Facebook hacking!

How to Determine If You Got Your Facebook Hacked

That one sounds like a no brainer. Those who want to hack your Facebook will probably leave a trace: they will change your password or they will read your unread messages. They might even post stuff for you. If the hacking was done to prank or bully you, then your biggest worry would be the things the hacker posts in your name. In this case, it’s advisable to immediately post that you were hacked and delete whatever offensive or untrue information the hacker shared.

Another hacker wouldn’t want their existence known. They’d act discreetly and try to remain unnoticed so you wouldn’t take an action and retrieve your account. How can you tell? The easy way is to check the login history of your Facebook account. Facebook offers a feature that shows you the address of each computer or phone that had a session with this account. For example, if you logged on to Facebook from a friend’s computer, Facebook would record the time and the address. Similarly, you can check if some of the sessions are suspicious and were not done by you. If so, change your password immediately. Find out how to check for suspicious sessions here.

How to Retrieve Your Hacked Facebook Account

It’s recommended that once you feel suspicious like something doesn’t feel right, change your password. The reason why that is essential is that, as we mentioned before, hacking happens due to simple mistakes or carelessness. If you change your password, the hacker doesn’t have a magical method of getting it again. But in other cases, you no longer have access to your own account because the hacker stole it and changed the password.

To retrieve a completely stolen Facebook account, you’ll have to let Facebook know that your account has been compromised. Choose that you cannot log on because your account was hacked. Facebook will send a reset password link to your associated email or phone number. You can then use the link to reset the password. You can also use the “trusted contacts” option: an option where you before the fact set 3-5 trusted friends that can help you retrieve your Facebook account. Here are the details on how to do both of the previous methods.

If you no longer have access to the associated email and never got the chance to set the trusted contacts or a phone number, you might be left with one option. If the hacker is abusing your account or using it to spread hate and profanity, your only option would be to report the account to Facebook so they would shut it down. Also, make sure to notify your friends that the account is no longer yours.

Facebook security measures? Learn more!

Why Hacking?

But why you, out of all people, would have your Facebook hacked? It can be a little devastating to lose your social media account because mainly it’s no longer just a social media account. There are the memories and the friends and the private messages and your whole life laid on the screen. It’s hard to just watch as someone violates your online life and ruins it like this.

Hackers would target popular Facebook users who have a lot of friends and a lot of followers. They may do it out of hate and malevolence and they may do it because they just wanna steal their audience. Hackers also target political or religious figures on Facebook to make fun of them. Another motivation for hacking is bullying, to use someone’s information against them or to humiliate them publicly with offensive or stupid posts.

On other occasions, hackers would just hack you because they can. Because you were accidentally reckless with your login information this one time and they now have their hands on it and why not have some fun at your expense? Always assume the worst case scenario when it comes to your security measures.

Facebook has become an almost indispensable part of our lives. We rely on it to wish happy birthdays and share the happiness with our loved ones. We rely on it to communicate, ask for medical or legal advice, and discuss big subjects like divorce and children and our financial status. There is so much of our life on this website that it can no longer be treated as just a website. You wouldn’t leave your house’s doors open all night because you righteously know that the world is full of possibilities of evil. Others would jump on the chance to use something against you, to gain access, to blackmail or embarrass you. Why allow it to happen? Online security measures are not a minor issue anymore. If you make the conscious decision to share your life on the Internet, then you’re obliged to be careful and responsible for keeping it safe and secure. Handle your sensitive information with appropriate care and the Internet safely!

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