With 2.41 billion monthly active users, Facebook is the largest social network worldwide by far. And because Facebook is a social network, plenty of its users let their guard down when it comes to protecting their data. While they use additional security features for online banking or bill pay services, they don’t worry about commenting, posting, or liking in a social environment.
But statistics prove the dangers of leaving yourself vulnerable on Facebook. According to the New York Post, approximately 160,000 Facebook accounts are compromised every day. Was your Facebook hacked? If so, you’re certainly not alone. Here’s what you should know about Facebook breaches and how to stay safe.
Recent Facebook Breaches
A Facebook profile can be hacked just like any other online account with credentials. If your Facebook was hacked, maybe you signed in on an unsecure network and a hacker lifted your credentials. Or maybe you didn’t sign out of your account on a shared device.
But it’s not always user error that leads to a hack. Sometimes a data breach can you vulnerable.
In a recent breach, more than 540 million records of Facebook users were publicly exposed. The April 2019 breach left Facebook user data compromised, including user IDs, passwords, photos, and details about comments and post reactions, though it was not immediately clear what hackers were able to gather.
In September of 2018, approximately 30 million users and their data were confirmed at risk by Facebook after a cyber-attack on the network. In early 2018, the Facebook-Cambridge Analytica data scandal came to light where it was revealed that personal data had been plucked from millions of profiles and used for political advertising purposes.
While Facebook claims to be committed to user privacy, their track record suggests otherwise. If you’ve been lucky enough to avoid a Facebook hack so far, don’t let your guard down just yet. In fact, you’ll most likely need to take additional security measures as hackers advance their techniques.
Was Your Facebook Hacked?
If your account has been hacked, you need to know right away. Hackers could be reading your private messages, deleting your personal info, or trying to scam your friends. Here are common signs you’ve been hacked.
- Your email, birthday, name, password, or other profile information has been changed
- You have new friends you didn’t send requests to
- Friends are receiving messages that you didn’t write
- Posts are popping up on your timeline that you didn’t post
- Your friends are reporting a duplicate account in your name that you didn’t create
If you suspect you’ve been hacked but are struggling to find proof, Facebook can quickly help you find out. After signing into your account, click on the menu list in the upper right-hand corner of your page. Select “Settings” followed by “Security and Login”. Then click “Where You’re Logged in”.
A list of all devices currently or recently used to sign into your account, along with their locations, will pop up in a list. If there’s a device or location you don’t recognize, then you’ve been hacked and should follow Facebook’s recommendations to secure your account.
Securing Your Account
There are ways you can make your Facebook account more secure. First, make sure you protect your profile picture so hackers can’t create a fake profile using your picture and name. To do this, just click on your profile picture and select “Turn on profile picture guard”.
You should also avoid signing in from multiple devices, create a strong password (use a password manager for convenience and security), and periodically check your personal information to make sure nothing has changed.
But one of the best ways you can prevent a hack on your account is to make your friends authenticators. If Facebook suspects your account has been hacked, they’ll lock it. If you have this security feature set up, your friends can send you verification codes so you can regain access to your account.