How to Recover a Hacked Facebook Account

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If you want to learn, read on.

At least weekly some stressed out victim of a Facebook hack a.k.a “account takeover”, contacts me to help them get their account back in order. While I do have a connection or two at Facebook, I’m not in a position to send an email or flip a switch and make it all good just like that. Facebook doesn’t allow that.

The victim of the hack is in the best position to fix it themselves.

First, be proactive. Set up your computer with auto updates for your operating system, antivirus, antiphishing, antispyware and have a 2-way firewall turned on and lock down your wireless connection.

Facebook offers a number of security features, Use all of them. Take screenshots of your settings and contact info, print them, and store them in a secure place.

Opt-in security features

Trusted Friends

What are trusted friends?

Trusted friends are friends you can reach out to if you ever get locked out of your Facebook account (ex: you turn on login approvals and then lose your phone, you forget your Facebook password and can’t get into your login email account to receive a password reset). If you get locked out, we’ll send each of your trusted friends a security code. All you need to do is call your friends and collect the codes.

Secure Browsing (https)

What is Secure Browsing (https)? What are the benefits?

Secure Browsing (https) is an opt-in security feature. When you turn this feature on, your traffic (i.e. all of your activity) on Facebook becomes encrypted, making it harder for anyone else to access your Facebook information without your permission.

Login Notifications

What are Login Notifications?

Login Notifications are an opt-in security feature where alerts are sent to you each time your account is accessed from a new device.

To turn on Login Notifications:

Go to your Security Settings page (Account > Account Security > Security)

Click on the Login Notifications section

Check the box next to the type of alerts you’d like to receive and save your changes

Note: If you want to receive text message alerts, you’ll need to add a mobile number to your account.

Login Approvals

What is Login Approvals?

Login Approvals is an opt-in security feature similar to Login Notifications, but with an extra security step. With Login Approvals, each time you try to access your Facebook account from an unrecognized device (ex: any computer or mobile phone you haven’t named and saved to your Facebook account), you will first have to enter a security code we’ve sent to your mobile phone.

To turn on Login Approvals:

Go to your Security Settings page (Account > Account Security > Security)

Click on the Login Approvals section

Check the box and save your changes

If all else fails go here: this is the system Facebook has in place to help you get your account back regardless of if the hacker changed your email address.

Robert Siciliano personal and home security specialist to Home Security Source discussing social media Facebook scammers on CNN. Disclosures.

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