In the last few months, I have noticed a huge increase in the number of Facebook accounts hacked or hijacked by hackers using Facebook phishing. To understand this, let’s first take a quick look at why Facebook accounts have become a target for hackers.
Why are Facebook accounts hacked? …
Facebook now has more than 500 million users and provides such incredible demographic information that advertisers now flock to it for targeted advertising. The same affiliate marketers who had previously turned to spam email and blog comment spam to force their message out to the public have now found that by hijacking Facebook accounts, they can deliver their marketing message to friends and connections. of those account holders. These “spam” messages are more likely to be viewed, read, or even clicked on, because they appear to come from a trusted source (the original account holder).
Exactly how are these Facebook accounts being hacked and hijacked? …
Actually, this is just a new delivery method for an old phishing scheme. Phishing occurs when you enter your login credentials on a fake Facebook login page or download malicious software onto your computer. This can cause messages or links to be automatically sent to a large number of friends. These messages or links are usually advertisements that encourage your friends to watch videos or products.
The hacker sets up a fictitious Facebook profile and sends hundreds of friend requests and waits for the requests to be accepted. Once some are accepted, they send misleading messages through Facebook chat or by posting on the wall of their new Facebook friends. These messages appear as a temptation like …
“Hey, what exactly are you doing in this video (click here) … what a shame …”
“This website has some kind of bug and is giving away free iPads. Get there fast before you miss it (click here) …”
The examples above would include a link to a page that appears to be a login screen for a Facebook account. The user assumes that they were disconnected for some reason (which happens occasionally) and re-enters their Facebook username and password. What they don’t realize is that the page did not belong to Facebook and they simply gave their username and password to a hacker.
Once the hacker has collected the credentials of the user’s Facebook account, they simply log into the account, change the password, and start sending out advertisements for affiliate programs, as well as further invitations to transfer their account information. This process continues to spread because people just don’t realize it.
How to prevent your Facebook from being hacked …
Actually, it is quite simple to avoid hijacking of your Facebook account. Just follow these simple steps:
1. Never, never, give your Facebook username and password to anyone.
2. Whenever you are on a Facebook login screen, make sure you are logging into an official Facebook page. If you are ever unexpectedly shown a login screen, just close your browser and open a new one. Then go back to Facebook.com and log in.
3. Share this post with as many people as you can. The more people that realize this, the less effective hackers will be – after all, knowledge is power.
What to do if your Facebook account has already been hacked or if you suspect that you may have been a “victim of identity theft” …
1. If your computer has been infected with a virus or malware, you will need to run antivirus software to remove these harmful programs and keep your information safe.
2. If you can access your Facebook account, change or reset your account password as soon as possible to block any external access to your account.
3. If your account has been blocked, or suspended due to spoofing or spamming, your best option is to simply start a new profile. I’ve heard from many that trying to get Facebook to reactivate an account is a lesson in futility.