How To Tell Your Facebook Has Been Hacked
Facebook is one of the most vulnerable social media websites on the planet. Hackers and scammers are constantly targeting Facebook accounts and stealing them from their owners. Just because hacking is common doesn’t mean you can understand or recognize it. Below is our guide on how to confirm for yourself that your account has been hacked. View our tutorial video below:
Suspicious Emails or Messages
The first major sign of an account being hacked is suspicious emails or messages. Often, hackers will send messages using an account they have stolen. These messages are aimed at their victim’s friends to try and also gain access to their accounts as well.
Getting many ‘attempted account recovery’ emails can also be a big sign that hackers are targeting you. Using account recovery tricks is the main way that many hackers access accounts. They’ll try an account recovery and then use other methods to gain access to your emails. You’re in even more danger if you use an exploited email account. To check if your account is at risk, you can use our guide here.
You should also be on the lookout for messages from Facebook themselves. Sometimes, Facebook will detect suspicious activity on your account and attempt to warn you. You should not ignore these messages under any circumstances, as they can be crucial to keep your account free of intruders.
Check Your Account Activity
Some hackers are intentionally very subtle. If an attacker remains undetected, they can have constant access to your most up-to-date data. In this case, the best thing you can do is remain vigilant and keep an eye on your account.
If you have any suspicions at all, check your activity log. Your activity log keeps a complete list of every activity taken on your account. If you don’t recognize any of the activities on that list, you should immediately take action. Here’s our guide on what to do if your Facebook account has been hacked.
To check your account activity, log into your account, click the arrow on the screen’s top right, and click ‘Settings & Privacy.’
Now click ‘Activity Log.’
Check through the activity log on the left of your screen carefully. If you notice any actions that you don’t remember doing yourself, you should immediately make moves to secure your account against intruders.
Suspicious Posts or Shares
An essential sign of a hacker targeting your Facebook account can be strange posts appearing on your timeline. Sometimes, a hacker is trying to break into your account to spread malware or links to malicious websites. They’ll normally spread links by posting them to your wall or sharing them with your friends.
If you notice any posts that you don’t remember making, especially those with links in them, you may have been hacked.
If you post a lot to your account, it can be difficult to keep track of all the posts you’ve made. For good safety, it’s a wise idea to avoiding posting links to your account. That way, if a lot of posts with links suddenly start showing up, then your friends and family are likely to notice the intrusion.
When checking your post history, be very methodical. As with many scams and hacks, hackers can sometimes use links that disguise themselves as legitimate websites. Check links you’re not sure about, careful to make sure that none of the letters or numbers have been swapped out for similar-looking ones.
Check Location History
While location history allows Facebook to collect your location data, turning it on can help you identify when someone has hacked you. Your location history will tell you wherever you’ve been while you were logged into the app on your phone or computer. If someone hacks your account, their location will also be collected and found in your location history.
If you noticed any activity in locations you’ve never been to, then you’ve been hacked.
You should note that using a VPN makes this data useless. When you log in to Facebook while using a VPN, it’s the location of your virtual network that is actually registered. Looking through your location history after using a VPN will make it seem like your account has been hacked multiple times from various locations.
Check Your Profile Information
If a hacker is extremely cautious, none of the above methods may confirm a hack. In this situation, you should carefully check through your profile information to ensure none of it has been changed.
When hackers attempt to gain permanent access to your account, they change your email address and/or phone number to one they have access to. They do this so you won’t recover your own account if they change the password.
If you look through your information and notice any data has been changed, especially your email address or phone number, you should act immediately. If you can change your details back before your password is changed, you should be able to prevent the loss of your Facebook account.
Don’t Be Complacent
While these methods are great for confirming an account breach when you’re suspicious, you should be applying them often. If you have good security practices, you’re much less likely to have hackers targeting you. This risk reduction can make many people complacent.
Considering how many Facebook accounts are hacked each day, no one is safe. Even if you have good security, you should make a habit of performing these account checks at least once-a-month. You should perform these checks even if you don’t currently have any suspicions that your account is at risk. That way, you can be sure to catch a hacker before they’ve had long enough to do too much damage.
You should also make sure that your friends and family are educated on account security. If the people who interact with your account are also performing these checks as a preventative measure, they’re more likely to notice your account being hacked and report back to you.
Worried about your account security? Our comprehensive security audit can help you stay safe.
Hackers targeting you? Get immediate help here.