Have you noticed some strange behavior on your Facebook account? See posts, Likes or updates that aren’t yours? It may be a sign that someone else is using your Facebook account and you may have been hacked. You may not of course, so here is how to find out.
Typical symptoms of hacked Facebook accounts include updates and entries that aren’t yours, following or liking behavior that doesn’t match your own, messages sent to people you didn’t write and the dreaded email from Facebook.
The email will read something like:
‘Your Facebook account was recently logged into from a computer, mobile device or other location you’ve never used before. For your protection, we’ve temporarily locked your account until you can review this activity and make sure no one is using your account without your permission.
Did you log into Facebook from a new device or an unusual location?’
There are many times when these emails are sent in error, so if you receive one, don’t worry just yet. If you use a VPN, a mobile or travel, you may see a number of these emails. There are a couple of ways to check if someone is using your Facebook account.
Check if someone is using your Facebook account
If you suspect someone is using your Facebook account, you need to take action quickly. Given how integrated the social network is into our lives, the faster you can stop any nefarious activity the less damage is done.
Fortunately, Facebook is way ahead of us and has a simple way to find out who has logged onto your account and when.
- Log into Facebook as normal.
- Select the small down arrow at the top menu to access settings.
- Select Security and Login from the left menu.
- Select When you’re logged in and the See more text link.
This should show you the last three or four logins on your account. It will list what kind of device logged in, from where and when it logged in. Check this matches your own activity. If you see something there that doesn’t match your logins, you need to take action.
Securing your Facebook account
If you suspect someone is using your Facebook account, you need to log them out, change the password and secure your account. If you followed the process above to see if anyone has logged into your account, you can also log them out by selecting the ‘Log out of all sessions’ text link. Don’t do it just yet though. Let us get ready first.
- Back out of the session window back to Security and login.
- Open a new browser tab and navigate to the Security and login page.
- Select Edit next to Change password in the new tab. Prepare a new password in the boxes but don’t save the changes just yet. Make the password a good one.
- Go back to your original tab and select Log out of all sessions. Confirm if required.
- Select Save Changes in the Change password tab.
Essentially, you open a copy of the Security and login page in two browser windows. One you use to end the sessions and the other you use to change the password. You need to do this quickly as you don’t know whether it’s a bot or a person using the account. By forcing the session to end, you kick out whoever is using your account. By immediately hitting Save changes, you update your password. Hopefully fast enough to stop the hacker from logging in again.
Sometimes, changing the password will trigger an end all sessions request but this seems a little hit and miss. While there are a few extra steps here, it works every time.
Next, set up alerts for unrecognized logins and set up two-factor authentication.
- Navigate to Security and login if you closed the window.
- Select the Edit button next to Get alerts about unrecognized logins.
- Add notifications and email alerts. This will cause Facebook to send you a login notification when you log in from somewhere unusual.
- Select Use two-factor authentication.
- Select Set up next to Two-factor authentication. Add your phone number and follow the instructions.
Once these two things are set up, your Facebook account is as secure as it can be. If someone tries to log into your Facebook account from elsewhere, you will get an email alert. When they try to log in, they will need to authenticate using your phone, which should stop them in their tracks.
Nobody likes the idea of being hacked but it is quite straightforward to check if someone else is using your Facebook account. Now you know how and what to do about if it you have been hacked. Good luck out there!