4 Urgent Steps to Take When Your Facebook Account is Being Hacked

Stop Facebook Account Hacker

Did you know you can stop a hacker trying to hack your Facebook account while he is at it? Don’t freak out, you can kick the intruder out and reclaim your Facebook account!

It’s one thing to have your Facebook account hacked and you try to recover it afterward, but it’s a different ball game when that Facebook account hacking is currently in progress and you want to stop it!

Most people who have built their whole businesses on their Facebook fan pages will freak out just to imagine an attacker gaining unauthorized access into their Facebook accounts.

The attacker could be reading private messages looking for the perfect message to slip in and divert incoming funds from customers or sending out unsolicited messages to business clients requesting for money, or plainly just stealing more of your private data for a grander future attack.

Now, before I go on to show you how to stop a Facebook account hacking in progress let’s first see:

How to Tell if your Facebook Account is Being Hacked

There are lots of signs that tell your Facebook account is actively being hacked, most of which are very obvious if you are not paying attention, and the others subtle. Here are the red flags to watch out for:

1. You’ll get a password reset text message for your Facebook account that you obviously did not request.

(Warning: For some countries, the text message does not expressly show that it’s from Facebook, and they really have to fix this ASAP because attackers can and will prey on that).

2. You’ll get a password reset email from Facebook when clearly you are not trying to reset your own password.

3. You’ll get an email from Facebook to secure your account because of an unusual activity their system is detecting in your account.

4. You’ll find that for some reason you are locked out of your Facebook account and you are facing Facebook’s checkpoint security to get back in.

5. You’ll get an unrecognized Facebook login notification alert, that’s if you have set that up.

6. You will discover your Facebook password has been outrightly changed.

7. You may find out that ALL (or some of) your unread messages have been read and your unread Facebook messages count has disappeared as a result.

8. You’ll discover most prominently that your Facebook name has been changed.

9. You’ll find out ALL your other Facebook information is changing or has changed. E.g (Date of Birth, City you live in, current location, etc.)

10. You’ll find out that your session has expired on both your Facebook App and Facebook Messenger and you are being logged out.

Sometimes an attacker could have gotten unauthorized access into their victim’s Facebook account, or any other account (thinking Email) and just decide to lay low without making any obvious changes while they are monitoring messages being sent back and forth.

At such times, this is how you know that a hacker has logged in or has been logging in to your Facebook account:

1. Tap the three-line menu button on the upper right corner of your Facebook App.

2. Tab to expand Settings & Privacy and select “Settings”.

3. Under the Security section, tap “Security and Login”.

4. Under the Where you’re logged in section is a list of every device that has logged on to your Facebook account as well the location of the login.

Check for Unrecognized Facebook logins and stop Facebook hacker
check for unrecognized Facebook logins on this list

The time that device was logged in or was last logged in is also recorded (and I found that the time is more accurate on the Facebook App).

If you see a device or location that you don’t recognize, then you know an intruder has been in your Facebook account lately. You can kick out the hacker’s device by tapping on it and selecting Log Out from the options.

Stop a Facebook Account Hacking in Progress and Secure Account

To stop an ongoing Facebook account hacking or hijacking or takeover that is happening now, this is what you do, in this order:

If you were quick to observe one of the early warning signs we discussed above and your Facebook hacker hasn’t changed your password yet (and sometimes this is deliberate), you are in luck!

Immediately go in to change your password and follow this with Step 1c which is to log out the attacker’s session or log out all sessions altogether.

But if this is a bit too late, and your Facebook password was already changed, proceed to perform Step 1b.

To change your password on Facebook if you are already logged in on the App:

1. Tap the three-line menu button on the upper right corner of your Facebook App.

2. Tap to expand Settings & Privacy and select “Settings”.

3. Under the Security section, tap “Security and Login”.

4. Under Login, tap Change Password.

5. Enter your current password and new password.

6. Tap Save Changes.

Once you find out that the attacker changed your Facebook password, act quickly and reset your password at once and proceed to perform Step 1c. Because it’s clear this attacker wants to take over your Facebook account as quickly as possible.

Follow the below instructions to reset your password on Facebook:

1.  Click the Facebook Forgotten Password link.

2. Find your Facebook account by entering either your Facebook associated email address, phone number, username or your full Facebook name.

3. Choose how you want to receive the code to reset your password: select email address or phone number option, whatever it is you have set up and can access right away. Click “Continue” to proceed.

4. Enter the Security Code you received and click “continue”.

5. Choose a new password and click “continue” to get back into your Facebook account.

This is the next logical step to perform after changing or resetting your Facebook password. Because until you log out or end a session, though you may have changed your password, that device would continue to be logged in.

You can decide to individually log out sessions but what I recommended is logging out ALL sessions, because desperate times require desperate measures.

To log out all of logged in sessions on Facebook:

1. Tap the three-line menu button on the upper right corner of your Facebook App.

2. Tab to expand Settings & Privacy and select “Settings”.

3. Under the Security section, tap “Security and Login”.

4. Under the Where you’re logged in section, tap “See More” to expand the list.

5. Tap “Log Out of All Sessions” and tap “Log Out” to confirm.

If an attacker was able to change your Facebook account password, chances are they have also managed to add their own phone number or email address to your account to solidify their access and to consolidate the account takeover.

In that case, what you should do is IMMEDIATELY you succeed to get back into your account using Step 1 above go quickly check if you have any unrecognized mobile number or email address that’s been added and remove them.

The reason for doing this is simple. If the attacker has added their own recovery options that means they can and would immediately recover your account again, change your password, and log out your session.

This would leave you and the attacker in a continuous cycle of who is first to recover the account -> change the password -> log out all other sessions. And may the best man win :).

This year alone I have been in such battles more than thrice with attackers actively trying to steal the Facebook accounts of friends who reported the attack to me in time.

Do you want to know who won in the end? I won the Facebook accounts back twice and lost once. And that was because my friend who I was helping was slow to send me the password reset codes (we were in different Cities). So the attacker got that one. But I ended up blocking the account for good.

Immediately you get back into your account – after doing Step 1 and possibly Step 2 – even if it’s just for a minute, use that opportunity to report the hack to Facebook.

This is especially important if you find out that your account is already sending out spam to friends or you no longer have any means of accessing that account due to the hack.

Facebook has a way of ensuring that your account hacker doesn’t win you and take over your Facebook account. Facebook will help you recover your account.

After going through steps 1 – 3, you should by now have gained control over your account once again.

It’s best, at this point, to inform your friends and family about the hack to give them a heads up. This is so they can be on alert for any suspicious activity just in case the hacker has been abusing your account.

This step is more of a precautionary measure than it’s a way to stop the hack. And it’s also a good way of preventing further damage.

Finally, now that the heat is down and you have regained control over your Facebook account, check out the top 4 settings to secure your Facebook account from hackers to prevent a re-occurrence.

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Tamanna Islam

Hello, you write awesome article & it really effective. I got my hacked facebook account following the right step.

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