Yesterday, I received an email from one of my Blog followers with the subject – how to secure my facebook account. Before I move into the narratives, here is a little thing you should know about the internet. As at early 2020, there were 4.5 billion reported Internet Users world-wide as against 3.9 billion in 2018. This rapid increase in users’ database draws all to so many concerns; Online Safety is one of those.
Late 2018, Solomon Brown’s Facebook account was hacked and retained by the hackers for malicious advertisements. Solomon is a Forex Analyst and has some top guys on his list. This major hack almost marred his business and prestige.
Just this year, Akachi Chukwuma and Idongesit Akpan reported their Facebook Accounts as hacked. The relative feature in this hack spree is that all hacked accounts are retained by the hackers for malicious advertisements.
Getting more than 98% solid security on your Facebook account is possible if you follow my recommendations to the last line. But before I proceed, let me take time to explain how Facebook Account hacks are accomplished.
- 1 Phishing
- 2 Malicious Password Reset
- 3 Dangers of having your Facebook Account Hacked
This is a scam method in which a user is tricked to provide personal details with which the scammer can use for exploitative purposes. In the case of Facebook, hackers clone the log-in page of Facebook, host the script in a server and trick users to visit the page through malicious links. Most commonly, the hacker might send you a link claiming that it leads to a viral video or any interesting content on Facebook. Once you click the link, you’ll end up seeing a login page with the message “log-in to proceed”. If you make the mistake of supplying your login details, the hacker will receive your username and password in a text file on his server, then use it to seize your account. This is the most popular method hackers use.
How to protect yourself from Phishing
a) Don’t click on links you do not trust.
b) Always check the URL of the website you are visiting on your browser to be sure you’re not on a totally different site. For example, hackers might trick you to log-in at www.facebo0k.com, www.facebbok.com, www.faceb00k.com, www.facebookk.com etcetera instead of www.facebook.com. Be watchful.
c) Activate Two Factor Authentication: When you turn on 2F Authentication on your Facebook Account, a special security code will be required from you each time you want to login to your Account from a strange device. This security code is always sent to your registered phone number or generated with an Authentication App such as Google Authenticator during the log-in process.
How to activate two factor authentication on Facebook
These steps cover “Faccebook” and “Lite” for Android. There might be slight differences when implemented on Web.
a) Open your Facebook App.
b) Navigate to Settings>Security and Login>Use two-factor authentication
c) Click “Enable” for SMS Authentication. A code will be sent to the phone number tied to your account.
You’re required to supply this code before your settings can be saved. Once this is successful, you’ll receive a security code on that line each time you try to login from a strange device. Without this code, you can not login to the account.
d) Activate for Authentication App. Once you click enable, a QR Code and Security token will appear on the screen, copy this security token and proceed to your Google Authenticator.
e) Click the red plus (+) sign at the bottom right of the screen.
f) Click “Enter a provided key”.
g) Paste the security token in the “Your key” field.
h) Supply the account name (Anything to help you identify the account).
i) Set the code type to “Time based” then click “Add”.
j) Copy the code that will appear on the screen and paste in the space provided in the Facebook App to complete the setup.
Though 2FA doesn’t promise 100% Account Security because of available security loophole which I won’t mention here, it can offer up to 80% Account Security. The security loophole is only known by top tech guys who might not actually have interest in hacking your account.
Malicious Password Reset
This is a situation where hackers who have access to your email account reset your facebook password using the security token sent to your email. In this process, Facebook will think you are the one requesting for password reset. Once the hacker is successful in resting your password, he’ll probably replace all the contact information in your account so you won’t have the privilege to revert the action.
Other Protective Measures on Facebook
a) Add trusted contacts: Facebook gives you the privilege to select up to 5 people who can help your regain access to your account if anything should happen.
For example, should you lose access to your email and unable to reset your password, Facebook may send recovery codes to your trusted contacts with which you can use to recover your account.
b) Review your authorised logins: Authorised devices are those which Facebook belief belong to you. You should review this to remove devices you no longer use.
If you’ve ever used a public computer to access your Facebook account, you should review this setting, tick the devices you wish to remove, then proceed to secure your account.
How to protect yourself from Malicious Password Reset
a) There is no love in sharing passwords. Keep your email account password secret and confidential.
b) Activate 2FA for your email account too.
c) Do not add someone you do not trust as a trusted contact.
The most important step you have to take in protecting your Facebook account is to activate 2FA for the email account that is linked to Facebook. The processes of activating 2FA on many platforms are similar, but there might be cross-platform similarities; common sense should guide you through the setup.
Dangers of having your Facebook Account Hacked
If you feel that Facebook account opening process takes less than a minute, and you can always open new accounts if hacked, let me highlight some of the dangers of having a hacked Facebook account here:
a) You’ll lose all your resources (Pictures, Videos and Articles).
b) You’ll lose connection with all your friends. There are people who might never accept your friend request again when they start seeing you in two spots on Facebook.
c) You’ll lose important business connections and deals. Most contractors do not need an unserious person who can’t “even protect a Facebook account”.
d) Your prestige might be soiled. If hackers use your account to beg your friends for money or dupe people on your contact list, people will think you’re the one doing so.
e) Hackers may upload pornographic contents using your Facebook account. If this doesn’t get to your Mom or Wife, it will get to your pastor.
f) Hackers cam steal confidential information from your previous chats such as your debit card details, shopping security tokens, bvn, date of birth, shopping history, websites you visit and other background information about you. Remember that Facebook doesn’t delete old messages, and your shopping and website check-ins are all stored in your Facebook account.
You should endeavour to keep yourself safe online; 2FA is the most important tool you should use.