Has your Facebook account ever been hacked? Have you seen someone claim that their Facebook account was hacked? This article will show you how your Facebook account can get hacked and how you can protect your account from getting hacked. Read till the end, then share with your loved ones.
Nowadays almost everyone has a Facebook account. Our social lives mean a lot to us and we spend several hours every week on social media. Facebook allows us to connect with friends, family, workmates, businesses, and the rest of the world. It, however, poses a security risk to users. Cases of cyberbullying and hacked accounts are on the rise and we all need to be extra vigilant about our digital behaviors.
When your Facebook gets hacked, it means somebody managed to get unauthorized access to your Facebook data by obtaining your account username and password. This can happen in several ways. Let us look at two common ones:
A hacker intentionally and forcibly obtains access to your account with malicious intentions.
Anyone can be a hacker. We are all hackers, we just haven’t found our moments. If you can guess the passwords used by someone close to you, be it your parent, spouse, or friend you can use that to access their account without them knowing. That makes you a hacker.
Then there are professional hackers. These are people who can write down malicious lines of code that they then use to hack your account. These people are not found in every street corner. They are computer professionals who will target Facebook accounts of users who hold crucial information that they need to access. They will mostly target celebrities, rich businessmen, big companies, politicians any other person they wish. These hackers can also be hired by enemies, business competitors, or political rivals to hack accounts. It will be meaningless for such hackers to target the Facebook account of common folk, for example, a local farmer back in the village because they have nothing to gain from it. Unless the hacker is hired by a lover who suspects that the farmer is using Facebook to send and receive unofficial love messages from somebody else.
To help you understand this, ask yourself these questions, are you rich and famous? Are you a successful business person? Is there anything about you that would make someone want to hack your Facebook account?
If your answer is NO then this next part is for you.
2. You unknowingly allow someone to hack your account.
Yes. You can unknowingly allow someone to get access to your Facebook account. This will happen out of negligence or total disregard for online safety.
A good example is when you log into your Facebook account from a public computer in a cybercafe but forget to log out. Then someone comes and gets access to your account afterward. You might also suffer the same fate if you used a phone or computer belonging to a friend or family member but you did not log out.
Lately, there has been an increased number of people complaining of receiving inappropriate messages or pornographic media from a Facebook friend who denies ever having sent such a message. These people later claim that their accounts were hacked. They, however, will confess to having viewed pornographic content somewhere prior to their accounts getting ‘hacked’.
There are malicious sites that will attract you to click on their links by sending your pornographic media on the link. People who consume pornographic content will click on such links without thinking twice. Often, the links will redirect you to a site that looks exactly like the Facebook login page and it will ask you to ‘Login to your account’ to proceed to view the full pornographic content. You innocently enter your Facebook username and password and proceed to view their content.
In reality, what you did was give them your Facebook details, you were already logged in when they were asking you to and the login page they showed you was a fake replica to deceive you. They will use the details you sent them to log into your account and send your friends pornographic ads without your knowledge. Sometimes, they will even change your account username and password and block you from accessing the account again. Pornography is a sure bait because the majority of people who browse the internet use it to access porn. Many people battle porn addiction and this makes them very vulnerable.
How to stay safe.
- Avoid accessing your personal social media and email accounts using public computers. Yes, public computers are not the safest. Avoid using them for your personal accounts. If you have to, always remember to log out. Do not allow the browser to save your login details. There have been cases of hackers installing malicious programs in computers in cyber cafes. These programs ‘sniff’ and steal user passwords and data when entering them into these computers without the user’s knowledge.
- Always set a strong password for your accounts. A strong password will consist of a combination of letters, numbers, and special characters. This makes it hard for someone to guess your password. Also, hackers will find it hard to crack the password. An example of such a password is h4xBz&mQ73. WARNING! Always set a password you can remember. Do not save your passwords where somebody can get them easily.
- Try as much as possible to prevent third-party websites and applications from getting access to your account. At some point, you must have used an app or a website that asked to connect to your Facebook. These apps are supposed to show you why they want to connect and the profile information they will access, and what they will use it for. Please read these permission requests carefully and reject them when you think the intentions are malicious. To be clear, there are legitimate apps and sites which will ask for access and not misuse your profile information.
- When visiting websites, check to see that it has a secure connection. This is a simple procedure, on the address bar, check for HTTPS (secure hypertext transfer protocol). For example, a secure site will be https://facebook.com, while an insecure site will not have the ‘S.’ There ‘S’ stands for a Secure Socket Layer(SSL) which is security encryption meant to keep you safe on the internet. Do not allow sites without HTTPS to connect to your Facebook account. Do not enter personal information such as bank account details on such websites. The good news is that most modern browsers will notify you and warn you when visiting such websites.
- Finally, avoid clicking on suspicious-looking ads. These are the ads that will redirect you to malicious websites. If possible, set your browser to block ads. This might not be good for websites that earn revenue from running ads on their pages.
Do you know of other ways social accounts get hacked? Do you want to help others secure their accounts? Please share with us in the comments. KEEP YOURSELF AND YOUR LOVED ONES SAFE ON THE INTERNET!