It can happen at anytime. You open your Facebook app to share some great news and are met with a screen telling you to log in because you have been logged out. You think to yourself, “Weird, why would I be logged out?” You enter your email address, and password and are told the combination is incorrect. You try a few more times with a password you’re certain is the correct password because it’s what you have documented in your password management tool (If you don’t use a password management tool, you should and we can help you learn more about them and decide which one to use). You haven’t changed your password in years so now you’re really baffled so you click on the link telling Facebook you’ve forgotten your password to begin the password reset process. Then you realize what has happened. Your account has been hacked, and the hacker has changed your email address, phone number, and locked you out of your account. When this occurs, recovering your account can be difficult, and nearly impossible, but Facebook does have some mechanisms in place to help.
Before trying these steps, make sure your Facebook app on your device is up to date. Use a computer if you have one available. If your Instagram account is linked to your Facebook, immediately sever the connection through unlinking your accounts.
1. Facebooks hacked account help is a great place to begin. You can enter a prior password as part of the steps to recover your account. Unfortunately, if your phone number and email address has been changed, this option may not work.
2. If the thief has also changed your phone number and/or setup multi-factor authentication on your account, your only hope is to contact Facebook support. As of this writing, Facebook will have you submit a couple forms of identification, and complete some additional tasks we will not reveal here for security reasons. This process is not guaranteed, and requires some patience.
Here are some steps you can take before a hack occurs to protect yourself and your memories.
– Never reuse passwords.
– Keep passwords complex, yet memorable to you.
– Avoid using any simple words/phrases/numbers someone can find out about you in your passwords. I.e. pets names, children’s names, birthdates, anniversaries, etc.
– Use a password management tool to help manage all your different passwords, which can also generate and manage completely random passwords for you. We have a couple we recommend using and can help you manage the setup and learning process.
– Enable multi-factor authentication on all accounts offering it, and use an app as opposed to the text method.
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