The personal data of more than 30 million Facebook users have been leaked and exposed to hackers. The social media giant is now working on notifying these affected people.
However, you can also take proactive measures to ensure the safety of your account and the data in it.
Facebook Personal Data Leak
The 2021 Facebook Data Breach involves hackers who have taken over Facebook's access tokens. Those are the digital keys used to keep your account logged in a device without needing password re-entry.
During the hack, data regarding your birthdate, education, gender, current city, hometown, relationship status, religion, work, username, device types used to access Facebook, the last 10 locations checked-in or tagged in, websites or pages followed, 15 most recent searches, and contact details have been exposed.
Users who own or co-admin a Page or Facebook group have also been attacked.
Aside from being notified by Facebook if your account has been compromised, you can check the Facebook Help Center Website. Other indicators that could imply your account is still under attack are when posts or messages are being sent but you know you weren't the one who posted or sent the message.
If anything in your account has been changed without your knowledge or new messages from strangers and responses from your account are in your inbox, these can be indicators of being hacked as well.
Basically, if your account is acting on its own accord without your knowledge, your account could be still under attack.
7 Urgent Steps To Take If Your Facebook Account Is Hacked
Search Engine Journal has shared how you can recover your account from a hacker through seven steps:
Step 1: Confirm the Hack
Can you still log in? If you can, go to Settings > Security and Login and check the log to see if any unfamiliar devices or locations have logged in to your account. Cross-check the dates to confirm it wasn't you.
If anything remotely suspicious is observed, click "Log Out of All Sessions" and then proceed to Step 3: Changing Your Password.
If you can't log in, ask a trusted Facebook friend to check your account with their own. See if any of your details have been changed, or if you have new and unfamiliar FB friends, and most especially if posts or messages are being made in your name.
Step 2: Report to Facebook That You Can't Log In
Head to https://www.facebook.com/hacked/ to report your account has been compromised. Type in the phone number or email you used to access your account and then it will walk you through the steps on how to regain control over your account.
Step 3: Changing All Your Passwords
This is especially important to take back control over your account and prevent future hacks.
Go to Settings and Privacy > Settings > Security and Login. Once there, scroll to Login and click "edit" on the "Change password" section. Make sure your new password is strong and secure.
As an extra safety measure, log out of all your sessions. Back in Security and Login, scroll to "Where you're logged in" and click "See all." From there, select "Log Out of All Sessions."
This would also be a great time to change the passwords of your linked accounts like Instagram or WhatsApp, as well as other accounts that could share the same password as your old and hacked Facebook password.
Step 4: Double-Check The Permissions
Review who has access to your account. Revoke the access of those you don't recognize or no longer use.
Head to Settings > Apps and Websites and remove them. The apps may still have data they have collected in the past, but now they can't get any more details from your account, Search Engine Journal says.
Step 5: Double-Secure Your Log In Access
Use Facebook's two-factor authentication to make sure you know when someone else besides yourself is attempting to log in to your account. You can set this up by going to Settings > Security and Login > Two-Factor Authentication.
Step 6: Inform Your Friends
Inform your friends and followers that you were hacked. The hacker could have posed as you and asked friends and loved ones for personal details, passwords, and even money. Even worse, the hacker could have piggy-backed off your account and hacked your friends.
Warn them not to open any links "you" sent while you were hacked and advise them to secure their accounts too.
Step 7: Review Your Privacy Settings
If you're reviewing it for the first time, Facebook can walk you through the important ones. Go to Settings > Privacy > Privacy Shortcuts and go through the Privacy Checkup.
This way, you can control the bulk of your own posts and photos from the past and make sure they can't be viewed by the public. You can also control who can see your future posts and who can tag you. Moroever, you can switch on/off face recognition and automated geotagging. Preferably, turn those off, says Search Engine Journal.
Botnet Data Leak: 26 Million Passwords Exposed https://t.co/VGV9aMWxPm < Hopefully you're not using the same password on Facebook and other sites, but good reminder to use strong unique passwords and change any that might have been compromised. pic.twitter.com/i3ozVoDuqe— Ben M. Schorr (@bschorr) June 15, 2021
5 Ways To Avoid Being Hacked on Facebook
Aside from doubling your account security, be mindful of other ways your account can be compromised and vulnerable to hackers.
1. Never share your login information
This may seem like a no-brainer but hackers and phishers can be sneakier than you think, Facebook warned. Make sure you are entering your login information in the proper FB website and not some external link or fake website made to look like the social media platform.
2. Log out of your account when using a shared device
This is to make sure no one else enters your account without your permission. If you do forget, you can log out remotely by logging out of the sessions as shown in Step 3 above.
3. Don't accept friend requests from people you don't know
Also very obvious, but some scammers are diligent and create fake accounts--some even make fake accounts of people you might know. Accepting their friend request opens you to message or post spamming and you receiving malicious messages.
4. Watch out for malicious software
Malware can wreak havoc to your device and sever. Make sure your app is updated regularly to keep security measures up to date, do the same for your web browser and OS.
5. Never click on Suspicious links
Even if the sender is your closest and dearest friend, if it is unlike them or if the link looks fishy, don't open it. These can be links on Facebook via messenger or on a tagged post, or even in e-mails. Facebook would never ask you for your password in an e-mail.
Report suspicious links to Facebook.
There are a lot of hackers ready to pounce on the first sign of security vulnerability and it is important to keep your account safe and updated to make sure your data doesn't fall to the wrong hands.