The Facebook hacks are out of control, over the weekend two people I friended had their accounts hacked and they both had the same sex tape line from some “IG model”. I don’t them very well but it was suspicious that both had the same link tagging 98 other people they knew.
This, at least to me, looks to be a trap for “vanhu vanoda zvinhu” and I encourage you all not to interact with the link if it pops up in your notifications. If you do get one, you can remove your name from those who have been tagged in the post.
A few other people I know reached out and said that they were seeing similar posts in their notifications. So it was pretty clear that there are some people out there who haven’t properly secured their Facebook accounts.
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First off, if your account has been hacked then you need to report the issue to Facebook so you can regain control of your profile through the https://www.facebook.com/hacked page. You’ll be given options on how to report the issue. All you need to do is follow the steps and you’ll get your account back.
Protecting your Facebook account from Hackers
This might be old news for some of you because you may already put these measures in place ages ago. But for those who haven’t yet done any of the following or know someone who hasn’t, please urge them to do so.
Removing your profile from being searchable on search engines
This might be a little overkill to start off with but Facebook allows you to remove your profile from being searchable on Google, Bing and other search engines. What this does is that if someone searches your name (in part or in full), it won’t come up on any search engine.
To do this you’ll need to:
- Open your Facebook and click on your picture to reveal the drop-down menu.
- Click/Tap Settings and Privacy.
- Tap on Settings.
- Look for the Privacy tab.
- Scroll till you find the option “How people find and contact you“.
- The last option should be “Do you want search engines outside of Facebook to link to your profile” and turn it off or select no.
- That should do it but it will take a while to go into effect.
This might not be much but it will stop miscreants, who have more time than they know what to do with, from searching for names and target you through search engines. They can still find you through Facebook though, but they’ll have to work for it more than searching a random name on Google.
Beef up your password
If you have saved your password as someone’s name or a birthday then you are making it too easy for hackers. There are a number of password managers that work on any number of devices. Companies like LastPass, Bitwarden, and even your Chrome browser allow you to create and store formidable passwords with letters, numbers and symbols.
You should read – 123456 and other weak passwords of 2021, surely we can do better
Activate Two Factor Authentication (2FA)
2FA is probably the most underrated way of protecting your account. For those who might not be aware, or haven’t don’t it yet (shame shame shame…), it adds an extra step to your login procedure either via a code that comes via SMS or through an authentication software like Google or Microsoft Authenticator.
I am a big fan of authenticator apps because the app generates random codes that are time-sensitive. So a code can last for about 30 seconds before another one is generated. Your Facebook account is linked to this app and it will recognise the new code. Best of all is that most of these apps don’t need the internet so they will keep generating codes without chowing your data.
To set up an authenticator app you’ll need to:
- Install a third-party authentication app on your device. It’s best to install the app on the device you normally use to access Facebook.
- Go to your Security and Login Settings.
- Scroll down to Use two-factor authentication and click Edit. You may be asked to re-enter your password at this point.
- Click Use Authentication App when you’re asked to choose your security method.
- And you’ll just need to follow the on-screen instructions to complete the process.
For those with feature phones, you can use SMS authentication. It’s not my favourite method but it is effective. However, you’ll have to be mindful of hackers who will try to get that code from you through WhatsApp. If you remember last year there was some group that was pretending to be WhatsApp support saying you need to authenticate your app and send them a code.
If you are not trying to access your account and you get a code via SMS, then someone is attempting to hack your Facebook, WhatsApp or any other social media platform the code is coming from.
Here’s how you activate SMS 2FA to protect your Facebook account from hackers:
- Tap in the top right of Facebook or your profile if you are on a desktop.
- Scroll down and tap Settings, then tap Password and security.
- Scroll down and tap Use two-factor authentication. You may be asked to re-enter your Facebook password at this point.
- Tap Use text message (SMS) and follow the on-screen instructions to complete the set-up.
Check out the Privacy Check-Up every now and again.
Facebook has a privacy centre that allows you to update how the platform and those on it interact with you. This included stuff like securing your account, and who is allowed to see your posts as well as advertisement preferences. It is, I think, a useful tool that can help you better protect your profile.
Don’t interact with any links
If you have been tagged in any of these weird posts, don’t interact with them. Additionally, if you have the person’s number then let them know so they can recover and secure their account.