There are several different ways hackers use a breached Facebook account. Automatic log-ins through Facebook allow hackers access to many different site accounts once they've taken over your Facebook. Spammers also hack Facebook accounts to gain access to your following. From your profile, a hacker can additionally gather a lot of personal information about you that can be used to steal your identity.
How to check if you've been hacked
If you worry that your account has been hacked, there is a simple way to check. Go to the arrow in the upper right-hand corner of your Facebook page and click on it. In the menu, select Settings. A new menu will pop up. Choose Security and Login and then Where You're Logged In.
A list of all of the devices that you've logged into and their locations will pop up. If there is a login you don't recognize, chances are you may have been hacked. If you see anything that isn't you, click Not You? on the right side of the log.
Then click Secure Account. Facebook will then walk you through the steps of securing your account after running a diagnostic on your account. Click Get Started.
Other signs you may have been hacked
Some other ways to tell if your account has been hacked are:
- Your name, birthday, email or password has been changed
- Someone sent out friend requests to people you don't know
- Messages have been sent from your account, but you didn't write them
- Posts are appearing on your timeline that you didn't post
How to keep your Facebook account safe
After you secure your account, make it safer. Facebook is jam-packed with security features, you just need to activate them. Open Facebook in your browser and go to Settings > Security and Login > Setting Up Extra Security.
- Turn on login alerts so that you receive notifications when your account is logged into. This helps you catch a hacker early, before any major damage is done.
- Enable two-factor authentication, then choose an extra layer of security from the list.
- Choose your trusted contacts and add a few close friends or family members that can help you unlock your account if it ever becomes hacked.
With these steps, your Facebook account is much more difficult for a hacker to get into and much easier to recover if it is ever compromised.
Pro tip: Set your password as a random set of numbers, letters and symbols to add a final layer of security. Here's some.
Editors' note: This article was posted on July 7, 2016 and has been updated.