The ‘WHO Radio’ Wise Guys Brian Gongol and Dan Adams are discussing the Facebook account hack issue to help you in case you find out that your Facebook account has gotten compromised, providing specific tips to take care of this breach and prevent it from happening in the future.
So how do you find out that your Facebook account has gotten hacked? This happens to a lot of people when they discover that there are messages being posted under their names or messages being sent out under their names that they didn’t send at all. That’s usually your first indicator that your Facebook account has been hacked.
Stage I: Stop the bleeding
Stage one if you discover that your Facebook account has been hacked is – stop the bleeding.
New Facebook password
Number one, you do login and change your Facebook password. You get a new Facebook password so that you can stop whatever messages are being sent out under your name from continuing to be sent out. This is something that if you suspect anything going on, you should immediately do. This should be your first course of action. But the thing is, make this a temporary password. Make up a complex temporary password, write it down, use it but be prepared to change it again.
Delete fake messages
Step two is to delete all the fake messages that have gone out under your name. You don’t want those being posted on other people’s walls, you don’t want messages going out under your name, because these are crooks who are trying to take advantage of people. They are using your good name to spread their bad messages. So if you delete those messages, you will protect your friends and family from being attacked as well. So that’s very useful stuff to do.
Stage II: Root out the cause
Once you’ve stopped the bleeding, you move on to phase two of this operation, which is to root out the cause, figuring out how you got hacked in the first place.
Update all programs
Step one when you get into rooting out the cause is to update all programs, take care of your Facebook apps and software on your computer. Go through the latest Facebook apps that you’ve installed recently and check with Google whether there are no malware reports mentioning these apps. Possibly remove the latest apps, as in many cases they are the most common source of problems. Some of the programs you should definitely update are your antivirus and antispyware, but update all the others as well. There is a very good chance that the browser you are using is out of date. You want to use the latest versions of everything, web browsers especially, but also your antivirus programs so that you can move on to step two.
Run a comprehensive antivirus scan
Now, step two is to run a comprehensive antivirus scan, this is where you do a complete top-to-bottom scan of your computer. You should do this on a regular basis anyway, like once a week, once every couple of weeks at least, you should do this regularly. If you’ve gotten hacked it’s very likely that what’s happened is you’ve downloaded something you shouldn’t have. That could be a keylogger, a program which is doing things like checking your key strokes when you’re logging in to Facebook or other sites and recording your passwords. So again, you need an antivirus scan to protect yourself against those.
Run a comprehensive antispyware scan
Part three of this is to run a comprehensive antispyware scan. It’s related to the antivirus, many times they are actually integrated into the same thing, but you want to run each of those because it is either a virus or spyware most likely that is giving somebody else access to your account. And again, you should be doing this on a regular basis.
Stage III: Prevent future attacks
That allows you to move on to phase three – protecting yourself from future attacks.
Set up an admin-only account
Now, the first thing that you do here, if you haven’t already, is step one – create an administrative login on your computer. So you get into that thing and set up an administrator-only account – you don’t want to be running your computer ordinarily in an admin level, which means you are allowed to do everything. You want to be running your computer normally in a limited access account. The only thing really that is limited in a limited access account is that you can’t load new programs, but the thing is that viruses are programs, so it helps the computer protect you.
Switch to webmail
There is a good chance that if you have a virus, you’ve gotten it by downloading email. Often times this happens if you are using a program like Outlook and it’s coming directly onto your computer. Use webmail as much as possible, services like Gmail or Hotmail, or Yahoo! Mail – anything that allows you to use a web-based service to get your emails so that you don’t download things onto your computer directly. You look at them through a web browser, and this adds another level of security.
Lock down your wireless network
This is something that not everybody does, but there is a possibility that your wireless network is open and it is accessible to people who just happen to be literally driving down the street. So you need to secure it with a password. It also means by extension, don’t use services like Facebook or online banking when you are for instance in a coffee shop or in an airport, or in other public place, using somebody else’s wireless network. Don’t use services that allow you to log in and use your passwords and usernames on services that don’t require you to be secured before you get there, don’t use unsecured wireless networks.
Step four – switch browsers, if you haven’t already. If you are using Internet Explorer, use a different browser, whether that is Firefox or Chrome, or Opera, or even Safari for Windows – switch browsers. There is a very good reason behind this, it’s that more people use Internet Explorer than anything else, so that’s what the crooks target when they are writing viruses and things like that to attack browsers. We have been seeing this for years, use a different browser other than Internet Explorer, and the chance of you getting hacked or you getting any kind of virus – it goes way down, it does decrease significantly. It’s like the old line: “Why do crooks rob banks? Because that’s where the money is”, and “Why do people who are crooks write viruses to attack Internet Explorer? Because that is what everybody is using”. So if you get away from that, you will decrease your level of susceptibility. It’s not perfect but it is a very helpful additional step.
Change your Facebook password again
Finally, go back into Facebook and for step five change that Facebook password again, because the thing is, you changed it originally to stop the bleeding, but you didn’t have your computer secured when you did that, so there is a good chance that whoever captured your password to begin with, got your new password when you changed it. So this is what you do after you’ve locked down the computer and increased your security and saved things, you need to go and change that password again.