Have you ever had a message from some of your friends on facebook wanting to know why you were posting a video of a woman giving birth? It is so embarrassing to find out that someone has not only hacked your account, but they are putting out crazy and obscene posts for all of your friends to see. Many of us, like myself, have businesses and many of our friends on Facebook are also business acquaintances, so a hack like this can threaten your professional image. How do you prevent this from happening? Is there any recourse against the hackers?
We’re all familiar with the typical threats posed by the dark side of the cyber world – spam email, viruses trying to attack our computer, and the like. Yet we still fall victim to these cyber criminals or trolls. Facebook hackers have perfected their craft and created multiple ways to victimize users.
One doesn’t even affect your Facebook account, it utilizes your persona. For example: You receive an email from a friend that contains a link to a photo that she posted on Facebook. The email looks like it was generated by Facebook, so you click the link. But instead of finding the photo, you have inadvertently directed your browser to a site that infects your computer with malware. The actual email message, it turns out, wasn’t from a friend at all, but from a cyber criminal impersonating your friend.
Another one involves an actual breach of your Facebook account itself. The hackers can actually guess your password. It is actually easier than you think. The hacker has tools that can crack a non-complicated password in short order. Think you are too crafty for this? Don’t be too sure. Even complex passwords are hacked everyday, they are skilled at guessing passwords by reviewing clues in your Facebook profile. So, for instance, if you are a huge Atlanta Falcons fan and the word “falcons” is part of your password, you’re potentially vulnerable. For tips on how to create safer passwords, read this article by Insure trust, a company whose mission is to reduce the cyber liability and risks in today’s environment.
The good news is that there are some easy steps you can take to make your Facebook and any other online account more secure.
- First, never click a link in an email message unless you are absolutely sure it is legitimate. And because it can be very difficult to tell sometimes which links are safe and which ones aren’t, you might want to adopt a zero-tolerance policy towards links embedded into emails.
- Second, create an intricate password that cannot be easily cracked. Norton suggests lengthy passwords that contain a number or a symbol and that do not contain dictionary words or names.
- Third, avoid using the same password for multiple accounts, because that makes it possible for a cyber thief to invade everything easily.
Security Measures Specific to Facebook Accounts:
- Facebook recommends reviewing your privacy settings to monitor who can see what you post, and also remove unused apps that you may have installed on your account.
- Dose of Digital recommends that you turn on secure browsing in your Facebook Security Settings, which enables the “https” protocol and protects your data as it is transmitted across the Internet.
- Another suggestion is to enable login notifications, again under Security Settings, which alert you when your account is being accessed from an unrecognized device, i.e. one you’ve never used before.
Hackers are here to stay. They are always testing the boundaries and security of sites that collect information. It is virtually impossible to stop them, but we can definitely make sure we don’t leave the door wide open for them. With the threats of identity theft, taking precautions against cyber threats has become a necessity not just a suggestion.
By Shannon Henrici, a social media addict who has been hacked many times on Twitter, Facebook and even email. This article was contributed to Busy Moms to help others protect their accounts and not fall victim to cyber criminals. For more tips on how to best protect yourself and the latest news on cyber threats follow Insure Trust’s news blog.