Usually when your Facebook account is hacked, it starts sending messages and/or posting to your friends wall. We’ve all seen them, they say something like you’ve been caught in a video or there is something really funny in the link and they don’t sound like something your friend would send you. Here is an example of a post and you can see all the friends who received it in the posts above it. (A sure sign it’s a virus as it was sent it to so many other people.)
The damage can range from simply being spam messages, to actual viruses that can harm your computer. Don’t panic, there are a few simple things you can do to try and minimize damage when your Facebook account gets hijacked.
Step 1: Change your password immediately! Go to “Account/Account Settings” to find the password setting. The sooner you do this the better, so do it as soon as possible. It is also a good idea to put a message on your status update that your account has been hacked and not to click any links received by you.
Step 2: Delete the message off your wall, or in your message Inbox. This avoids you or someone else accidentally clicking the message in the future. If it is on your wall, go to your profile page or “Wall”, hover to the top right of the message until you see “Remove Post” and click it to get rid of the post.
Step 3: Delete the posts off your friends wall using the same steps as above. You can tell who’s wall it posted to by reading the messages on your wall that say “Victoria wrote on Josh’s Wall, Victoria wrote on Tia’s wall, etc.” then follow the unauthorized post by click on the word “wall”. Go to their walls, hover to the right of the post and click “Remove Post”. (You can only remove posts on your friends wall that were sent by your account.)
Step 4: Make sure your virus protection is fully updated and do a full scan.
Step 5: Seek professional assistance if you discover a virus and can not get rid of it, or your computer continues to exhibit other problems.
Step 6: It’s really not “if” you will get a virus, it’s “when”, so have a backup system in case the worst happens and your data is damaged. There are several ways to back up, including online programs like Carbonite and Mozy which cost less then $60 per year. That is less then $5 per month to protect your valuable data! For other options, speak to your computer technician or a knowledgeable employee at a computer supply store.
Note: It is also a very good idea to delete 3rd party apps. My friend Mike explains how here: http://areweconnected.com/facebook/how-to-kill-a-bad-facebook-app/.
If you see one of these messages on a friends wall, it’s always nice to alert them that it’s a virus to help avoid spreading it to others. You might want to send them a link to this post so they will know how to minimize the damage.
Victoria Linton is a Business Development Specialist with Ticor Title in Salem and specializes in helping Mid Valley Real Estate Agents and Loan Officers integrate technology into their business and marketing plans.
Victoria Linton, Business Development Specialist
Ticor Title – Salem, Oregon
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