How to protect your Facebook account from hackers

Facebook is still the most used social network app today, despite a number of past security concerns. We use our accounts to update our friends and family on our lives, and it’s a great way to keep in touch with those we see less often.

But what happens if you get locked out of your Facebook account? We received this message from one of our readers:

My Facebook account has been recently hacked to the point where I don’t think I can recover it. They changed my password, email, phone number and now the added a 6 digit code if asked for a password reset. I believe Facebook sent me an email saying the account is locked until I could reset it. I haven’t been able to. Any suggestions? – Gordon

We’ll show you the ways to recover a hacked Facebook account, but first, we have the preventative measures you need to take to make sure this never happens to you.

 

How to stop Facebook hacking

Turn on these security settings to prevent hackers

Two-factor authentication

Also known as 2FA, two-factor authentication has become a pretty standard security setting these days. Work from home has made this even more common, as companies want to make sure you’re on a secure network before you use their programs. While it might seem annoying to follow a few extra steps to log in to your Facebook account, it’s worth it to protect your account from anyone else getting in.

Two-factor authentication means you have to approve a login on a separate device so you’ll need to enable this feature on a desktop computer, and then make sure you have the Facebook mobile app installed and logged in on your smartphone.

  • Login to your Facebook account on a desktop computer at facebook.com
  • Go to Settings & Privacy 
    • On a desktop computer, click the down carrot on the top right of your Facebook page to find Settings & Privacy > tap Settings > select Security and Login from the lefthand menu. (unfortunatley you can not active this feature on your mobile device, so you’ll need to log in on your desktop or laptop)
  • Scroll down and click Two-factor authentication if it’s off
  • You’ll need to enter your Facebook password to turn this feature on

 

Add a backup method to login

Once you’re logged into the Two-factor authentication page, you can add a backup method to help you log in. You can:

  • Receive a login code via an authentication app (you’ll need a third-party app like Google Authenticator for this one)
  • Add a security key (you’ll need to purchase a third-party security key for this one)
  • Receive a recovery code via text to login

Click Edit next to the backup method you’d like to use, and follow on-screen instructions.

You can also Turn on Code Generator as an additional backup option. This is only available on the Facebook mobile app, not on the desktop site. If you turn this on, your phone will receive a special code when you’re logging in to a new browser or device. This option works without an internet connection or SMS messaging.

  • Open your Facebook app
  • Click the magnifying glass icon in top right
  • Type “Code Generator” and click “Search”
  • Click the “Code Generator” line at top in the search results.
  • You will be presented with a 6-digit code that changes every 30 seconds.  Be sure to enter that unique code within the 30 seconds when you’re logging in on your other device

 

Set up alerts for logins from unrecognized devices

You can opt-in for text message and email updates if anyone logs into your Facebook account from a device you haven’t marked as a recognized device. You can also have the notification pop up on your Facebook app.

  • Go to Settings & Privacy 
    • On a desktop computer, click the down carrot on the top right of your Facebook page to find Settings & Privacy, then tap Settings and select Security and Login from the lefthand menu
    • On a mobile app, tap Menu on the bottom right, then the Settings gear icon on the top right, scroll down and tap Security and Login
  • Scroll down to Get alerts about unrecognized logins
  • Turn on and select the ways you’d like to be notified

 

How to recover your Facebook account if you’ve already been hacked

You may realize your account has been taken over by a hacker if you can’t log in, or you may notice some red flags while still logged into your account – like posts you didn’t create. If you’ve already been hacked, follow these steps:

  • The first step is to check if you still have access to the phone number or email you set up your Facebook account with.
  • If you do, go to facebook.com making sure you’re logged out of any other account, and click Forgot Account.
  • Follow the on-screen instructions to receive a recovery link to your email or phone number.

If you do not have access to the phone number or email associated with your Facebook account, head to facebook.com/login/identify. You’ll be able to fill out a form to have Facebook review your account while answering a few security questions to prove the account you’re trying to recover is yours. Sometimes you’ll have to provide proof of ID like a photo of a driver’s license.  We understand there is hesitance with wanting to upload your ID, but Facebook says these uploads are encrypted and stored securely.

Additional tips for keeping your Facebook account safe

1. Conduct a Privacy Checkup on your account about once a month to make sure your account is still secure. Facebook will guide you through settings so you can make sure your data settings, ad preferences, and search settings are all how you’d like them to be set.

  • On a desktop computer, click the down carrot on the top right of your Facebook page to find Settings & Privacy, then tap Settings and select Privacy Checkup
  • On a mobile app, tap Menu on the bottom right, then the Settings gear icon on the top right, and tap Password and security
  • Click the first option: Check Your Important Security Setting

2. Change your password using a stronger safer password– especially if your password matches any other logins for any other website or social media accounts you use.

 

Lock up all your Tech

While we’re talking security and protection, always be sure to keep your tech protected!  My biggest desire is to educate and inform you about the increased real threat to each of our connected devices and encourage you to have strong antivirus security protection up and actively running on everything in your life connected to the rest of the world.  You can check out our review of our antivirus recommendations here: Best Antivirus Security Software and Apps to Protect You 2022.

 

While we’re talking Facebook, be sure to follow me on my Facebook page here for all the latest news!

 

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