Steps to Stop or Fix Facebook Hacks

Oops, somebody did it again! A friend’s page has been hacked, with links posted across dozens of their friends’ walls. What to do and how do they fix?

Stop the Hack So It Never Happens

  1. Think before you click. Even if it’s your best friend’s wall, DON’T click on a link if it promises you a Disney Vacation, rapid weight loss, a story of a girl who cried or worse when her dad found her Facebook, a look at your Facebook stalkers, an optical illusion with a racy picture, or others. Click on your friend’s wall or look at your Newsfeed. If you see the same story on multiple walls, it’s probably a hack, most likely a Koobface.
  2. Lock your doors. It’s hard for a creep to break into your house if the door’s locked. Ditto for hacks. Run anti-virus and anti-spyware regularly – follow your computer pro’s suggestions for both. No computer pro? Get one! I have 1 friend who only uses FacebookMy-Facebook-Profile-300x225 on his phone so he protects his computer.
  3. Keep the secret password secret. After you finish using Facebook, if others use your computer, log out. Don’t just close the window, especially if you’re on a public computer. Don’t share your password with others. Use strong passwords.
  4. Beware that app. Applications (games) may be a place where you have given permission to a 3rd party company for access to your personal information. Think before you add.
  5. Know your friends. If Aunt Betty’s never before posted a link, that’s a good clue she didn’t post one this time but got hacked. If you suddenly see a chat from Cousin Bob that he went to London, got mugged, and needs you to cable him cash, it’s probably not him. Verify, don’t trust that it’s really him.
  6. Bookmark this page. Bookmark this blog so if you need it, you’ve got it.
  7. Think about https.  If you don’t mind slowing down your Facebook page loads, they are rolling out a new feature that will make it harder for 3rd party apps to grab your data. Go to Account, account settings, and activate https. (You may not yet have this feature.)
  8. When a friend’s hacked & writes on your wall: if a hack link gets on your wall, go to the right side of the posting and click on the X to remove it.  Phone your friend (yet another reason to have your phone number visible to Facebook friends). Post a link to this blog on their wall.

Fix the Hack

  1. Work the problem. Think before you react. If you’re on Facebook when it happens,DO NOT LOG OFF FACEBOOK. If you’re truly hacked and you log off, you surrender control of your profile. Don’t panic and delete your account either,
  2. Change your password. Go to Account, account settings, password.
  3. Check your security. Go to Account, account settings, security. Look at account activity and see if any unknown locations are accessing your account. End them. You can turn on https or ask to get an email/text when an unknown computer accesses your account if you want.
  4. Sound the alarm. Post a status warning your friends you’ve been hacked and not to click on anything you’ve posted, messaged, or chatted.
  5. Hide your posts.  Go to Account, privacy settings, customize settings. On the first choice, posts by me, click on the arrow to the right and select only me.
  6. Clean up the mess. Figure out which friends’ walls your hack posted. Go to each individually and remove it. Ask friends with whom you have several mutual friends to look at their news feeds and tell you which walls they see. Do this step well and don’t go forward till it’s completely finished.
  7. Show your posts. Go to Account, privacy settings, customize settings. On the first choice, posts by me, click on the arrow to the right and select friends only.
  8. Get thee to your computer pro! Contact your computer pro and ask how they recommend you check for anti-virus and anti-spyware.  Your computer needs deep scans to ensure viruses weren’t loaded elsewhere.
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