As one of the leading data-collection agencies in the world, Facebook is nearly unrivaled in its depth and range of user data, and leverages that data to sell premium ad space to advertisers. In 2017, Facebook generated 98% of its global revenue through its advertising business.
The company said it discovered the breach this week, finding that attackers had exploited a feature in Facebook’s code that allowed them to take over user accounts. The company said it fixed the vulnerability and notified law enforcement officials.
“We’re taking it really seriously,” Mark Zuckerberg, the company’s chief executive, said in a conference call with reporters. “We have a major security effort at the company that hardens all of our surfaces.” He added: “I’m glad we found this. But it definitely is an issue that this happened in the first place.”
Before we get into what happened in the breach, it’s important for you to take the following steps to secure your Facebook account.
Steps to Fix Facebook Hacked account
Thankfully, there are a few things that you can do to prevent an attack, and a few things you can do to fix your Facebook account if it does get hacked.
Protect Your Facebook Account
Before we even get into fixing your account, it’s best to know how to prevent would-be hackers from accessing your account. Setting a better password, avoiding spam, and increasing your privacy are just a few methods that could help safeguard your account. Luckily, Facebook has a Privacy Basics page that really helps explain a few things.
After you do the basics, there are a more advanced options to consider. You could enable email or login notifications, which you can do under Security Settings > Login Alerts. Unfortunately, Facebook discontinued text notifications some time ago.
Still under security settings, you can check the box for Login Approvals. Doing so requires a security code to be typed when logging in from an unknown device or browser, and is another powerful attack deterrent to consider.
Take Precautions When Browsing Facebook
Still, there are more preventative measures you can take to protect your Facebook account, like avoiding click-bait links. This might seem simple enough, but there are plenty of cases of people clicking spam on Facebook and ruining their computer. It happens. And it sucks. Don’t let it happen to you. Avoid spam links, which may even appear in your Message Request folder.
Also, you should avoid fake websites that are made to look like Facebook and could steal your sensitive information, which is known as phishing and is not to be taken lightly.
Adjust Your Facebook Privacy Settings
Another step you can take, which is something I’ve done recently, is to increase privacy settings on your photos, posts, and tags. I decided some time ago that I didn’t want every post and photo tag to be displayed on my wall, and have opted to review each tag before it’s posted. This gives me more control over what is made available to my friends, and has saved me from a few embarrassing posts and photo bombs.
In terms of your Facebook account’s security, this limits the number of comments you receive, and restricts them to the people you trust most. This makes you less likely to click on a link from someone masquerading as your friend.
Now that you’ve done just about everything to prevent an attack, we’ll take a look at the next steps: Identifying whether or not you’ve been hacked.
Identify if Your Facebook Account Has Been Hacked
Usually, this is obvious, as your hacked profile will post ads on your friend’s wall encouraging them to buy a pair of knock-off Raybans (or similar). Your hacked account might also send unwanted emails, change your profile information, or change your email and password. All bad scenarios and something you’d probably want to avoid.
Thankfully, there’s an easy way to discover whether or not someone else has logged into your account, which you can check under your security settings section.
Go to Settings > Security > Where You’re Logged In and click edit. The information contained in the section will show where you’ve logged in and with what devices you signed in with. For example, my last log in was in Cologne, Germany on my iPhone, which sounds about right.
The Fix: If you do find a discrepancy with where you’ve logged in, you can easily end the activity of that session, which should help safeguard from any hack attempt on that device.
Check Your Purchase History
There’s also another way to check whether or not you’ve been hacked, and that’s by checking your purchase history. If you have a credit card stored on your account, it’s possible that hackers could make fraudulent app or ad purchases and drive up your credit bill. Obviously, this is another bad scenario that we’d all like to avoid.
To ensure your protection, go to Settings > Payments and check under your payment activity, which should be readily displayed. You can even check your Ads Manager payment history in the same section.
The Fix: If you notice any fraudulent charges, you can inform Facebook with this link. They’re pretty good with replying to concerns, whether that’s through their account or through their official Twitter account.
Inform Facebook of Any Hack Attempts
In fact, if you have any problems whatsoever, you should inform Facebook. Facebook is keen to know about hack attempts and wants to do its part to keep the site as safe and secure as possible.
The Fix: You can contact Facebook through its official Twitter account, as I mentioned previously, or you can send a message using your Support Inbox. You can find yours under the Facebook Help Center page, and then by clicking Support Inbox. You can also check out the Bullying Center, Safety Check, and Safety Center pages if you have additional problems.
Safeguard Your Privacy
While nothing is 100 percent protected, there are ways to safeguard your account so that would-be hackers are hard pressed to obtain your data or personal information. By taking these steps and others like it, you’re ensuring that you’re as protected as possible. Even if you’re not overly concerned about your privacy or data, it’s a good idea to get serious about protection and do something about it.
How Do You Protect Your Account?
Check out even more Facebook security methods to fix your hacked account, because staying on top of your page is more important than you might imagine. And if you’ve been the target of social danger, consider whether cyber insurance is right for you.
How Facebook hacked ?
Facebook doesn’t have a ton of information to provide about the attack, but so far we know that the attack originated from a vulnerability in Facebook’s code around their “view as” feature, a feature that allows users to see what their profile looks like to someone else.
According to Facebook, this allowed hackers to “steal Facebook access tokens which they could then use to take over people’s accounts. Access tokens are the equivalent of digital keys that keep people logged in to Facebook so they don’t need to re-enter their password every time they use the app.”
As of now, Facebook isn’t sure if any compromised accounts were misused or if any sensitive personal information was accessed. However, when it comes to hacks, it’s always better to err on the side of caution and be proactive about updating your compromised passwords.
Facebook is unsure who is behind these attacks or what their motive is.
Facebook Hacked : Primary challenges
One of the primary challenges for the company has been convincing its users that it can responsibly handle the incredible wealth of data it has access to. More than 2 billion people use Facebook every month; another 2 billion use WhatsApp, a Facebook-owned messaging app, and Instagram, the Facebook-owned photo-sharing app.
“We have a responsibility to protect your data, and if we can’t then we don’t deserve to serve you,” Zuckerberg said in a statement regarding Cambridge Analytica this year.
Even before the disclosure Friday, Facebook was caught up in multiple federal investigations related to its broader data-sharing and privacy practices. The Securities and Exchange Commission has opened an inquiry into the company’s statements about the Cambridge Analytica episode.
Facebook insists it has instituted strict data-sharing policies with third parties, and has scaled back the amount of data it agrees to share with developers in the future. The company suspended access to more than 400 third-party apps after an audit of the thousands of outside apps connected to Facebook.