While internet security has improved, instances of Facebook hacking seem to have only increased in recent years! It seems both personal and Facebook business accounts are being targeted.
While for some, resetting the password can help - others have been completely blocked out of their accounts and even became victims of identity theft.
For small business owners, a hacked business account can mean thousands of dollars in lost sales. Some businesses built entirely through social media have had to shut down after significant hacks.
BUT, don’t worry! You are not alone in this. We know so many people who have had their Facebook accounts hacked and were able to recover them. Even the famous online marketing Guru, Mari Smith, suffered from this issue!
If you are lucky and have never lost your Facebook account, don’t stop reading! You can do several things to keep your account secure.
The first thing every Facebook user must do is switch on two-factor authentication. There is a reason Facebook highly recommends this, as it provides a powerful way to keep your account secured. If someone attempts to log in from another location, another computer, or even a different browser, you get alerted.
Having said that, hackers are smart- too clever. Many have even been able to add themselves to Facebook Business Accounts. It gives them access to your ad account and potentially your credit card information.
The trick used is simple enough. A hacker sends a ‘request’ to join a business manager. They use a legit-looking email id, similar to your employee or a client. Many people accept this without even confirming, and that is where the problems started.
Thankfully, this issue was discovered and solved a couple of years ago in a Facebook bug bounty program. However, fake emails are still going out, trying to imitate employees and clients in hopes of getting access to personal information.
Another iteration of this is when you get a message from an account using a close family member’s name and picture. They ask for help, telling you they have had an emergency and can’t talk in detail. In this case, they might ask you for money, bank account information, or even your phone number. All these details can help them hack your accounts.
Just be wary of anything out of the ordinary, and you should be okay.
HOW TO KNOW YOUR ACCOUNT IS VULNERABLE
As long as there is Facebook, you will have hackers trying to get into your account. Therefore, we need to develop a proactive approach to a secure Facebook account.
Keep an eye on your notifications apart from switching on two-factor authentication and regularly changing your passwords.
Make sure to switch on your notifications on your phone, desktop, and even SMS, in case you don’t have an internet connection for some reason.
As a standard practice, read ALL notifications you see in your Facebook business suite every day. Not doing this might be one of the biggest mistakes you make. Especially if you have multiple pages to manage, it is easy to ignore tons of notifications you get daily.
The notifications can tell you a lot about suspicious activities happening to your Facebook business account. If someone tried to change your password, login from another country, etc., you would see this in the notifications.
Is a new ad running that you did not publish? Did ads stop running themselves? Is someone added to your ad account you have never heard of? Maybe you keep getting an email asking for a password renewal code?
If you spot something, immediately change your password to keep your account secured!
Also, a business manager account should always have at least two admins who both have two-factor authentication switched on. This provides an added layer of checks and balances that might help in the long run.
You might also notice spam messages in your DM asking you to click a link. In this case, block these accounts and report them immediately.
If your friends and people you know are getting strange messages from your account or spot a fake ID in your name, report this immediately to Facebook, as they are usually quick to take action on such matters.
All of these are clear signs that your account is under attack and that you need to take immediate action.
HOW TO GET YOUR FACEBOOK ACCOUNT BACK
If you have a personal Facebook account hacked, you might still be able to log in, which is good news! Simply log out of all sessions, log back in and change your password as soon as possible.
However, if you cannot log in to your personal account, chances are that the hacker changed not only your password but also the email associated with it. If you don’t have a phone number linked with your account, getting back in might take a bit longer.
In such a case, our recommendation is to go to https://www.facebook.com/hacked.
Follow all the steps described: Facebook might ask for your identification proof, maybe a government-approved document, and a picture. Give as much information as possible, and you should be able to get your account back.
Also, ask your friends and family to report your account as a Facebook hacked account. It should help to speed up the process.
HOW TO GET BACK YOUR FACEBOOK BUSINESS ACCOUNT
If you have had your business manager hacked, the first thing you need to do is contact your bank and block your method payments. Whether it’s a credit card or a PayPal account, you need to temporarily block it so no one can access your financial information.
There are two ways to know if your business account is compromised. If you don’t have access to your business account, it is evident something has gone wrong.
However, a more sneaky way hackers get into your account is by changing your access permissions and demoting you instead of blocking you out. This might go unnoticed, giving them more time in your account (hence, the need to keep checking your notifications)
If you still have access to your business account, go to the help section and contact customer support to let them know what has happened.
If you cannot log into your account, the first thing you need to try is to visit https://www.facebook.com/hacked.
It is easy to restore a business account if it is associated with your personal account. Unfortunately, Facebook customer support is slow, and it might take a couple of days before you get an appropriate reply from them.
Facebook did have live chat support for business accounts, but that has not closed down. The best bet is to keep on contacting them and use the Help Centre to make complaints.
Facebook ALWAYS replies in cases of fraud, so be patient, and everything will work out!
IF ALL ELSE FAILS
If, for some reason, you are still unable to get access to your hacked business account, there are a few things you can do.
You can try to contact someone who works at Facebook. When you search on Linkedin, and you will find hundreds of legitimate profiles of Facebook employees. Reaching out to them can give you a good chance of trying to resolve this issue. While customer service might not be their job description, they will be happy to connect you with someone who is. We know people who have done this successfully, and it might help you as well.
There are also third-party agencies that claim to work as ‘approved’ Facebook agents and quickly resolve these issues. Many people on the internet have given them positive feedback, but it’s a hit and miss. Try this only at your own accord since we are unable to verify these claims.
The last option is to make a new account. As long as your financial and personal data is secure, you might want to try all over again to get things moving!
BEST PRACTICES TO PREVENT HACKING OF YOUR FACEBOOK ACCOUNT
Prevention is ALWAYS better than the cure! To secure your Facebook account, follow the following steps:
1. Make sure your password is cryptic and not easy to recall. If you can remember your own password, you need to make it more difficult!
2. Change your password every few months.
3. Connect your account to a phone number
4. Switch on Two-Factor or Multi-Factor authentication from your settings. There are no two opinions about it!
5. Regularly check your notifications.
6. Regularly check your logged sessions to spot any suspicious activity.
7. Regularly check which apps and websites are connected with your Facebook account.
8. If it’s a personal account, ensure all privacy settings are ON, so no one can view your friends, date of birth, or download your picture.
9. Do not respond to DMs from unknown people.
10. Do not accept friend requests from people you don’t know.
11. Ensure everyone in your business account has also switched on their two-factor authentication.
12. Regularly check who has access to your business account.
13. Remove anyone who is no longer part of your team.
14. Have at least two admins on a business account
15. Have regular meetings with the team to discuss suspicious activities and best practices to keep your account safe.
Regardless of what people think, Facebook does take the security of its platform very seriously. They introduce new guidelines and technologies every year to keep all their users safe.
Facebook is already testing ‘work accounts’ for business users. Currently, everyone accesses their business accounts through a Facebook personal account. This can change as people can make ‘work accounts’ specially to manage their business suite.
Lost Facebook accounts can become a thing of the past as a disassociation of your business and personal accounts gives an added layer of security.
With the introduction of blockchain technologies and even biometrics, we believe internet security will only improve in the coming years.