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“Can my Facebook or Messenger get hacked?”

by Chelsea

Yes, your Facebook account or Facebook Messenger can get hacked or get a virus, unfortunately. Facebook is generally pretty good at filtering these out. (This is why it’s also important to keep your Facebook and Messenger apps up to date.) However, they are still out there from time to time. New ones are being created all the time, too.

Because Facebook and Messenger are so popular, they are targets for some of the most vicious cyber attacks. If you get a virus through Messenger, what happens is that this virus will automatically send malicious links with deceptive messages to your Facebook friends via the Messenger.

What a virus does can differ, since there are so many different ones and new ones all the time. They do share the same common characteristic: to track and obtain confidential data such as keystrokes, logins/passwords and credit card information to hijack your profile and for illegal activities.

In Messenger, one way this happens is that you might receive some random message. It might say something like:

  • Is this video yours? It’s a very bad video.
  • Hey, I just made a photoshop of you, check it out
  • Watch the video by clicking on the picture that belongs to you.
  • Hello [name], what are you doing in this video?? LOL, No comment!
  • Omg haha have you seen this photo that you got tagged in LOL —->
  • Ohh! det är verkligen du?

You might come across a message like, “Congratulations! Your profile has been selected by Facebook!” or “Every Thursday we select one lucky user from [country name] to get an exclusive gift from our sponsors.”

This is a type of Facebook virus that tricks users into getting “gifts” like iPhones, gift cards, and similar to-good-to-be-true offers. Once you click “Select”, it will lead you to a malicious website and sometimes, automatically download and install unsafe apps to your computer.

Other ways you can be hacked with Facebook is through phishing or keylogging.

What’s phishing?

This is when the hacker “fishes” for your information by creating a web page that looks identical to Facebook’s main page… Then, they send out an email asking you to log in. If you get this email and click the link in the email, you’ll be directed to a page that looks JUST like the real Facebook main page! If you enter your email and password on this fake page, however, this information is automatically recorded by the hacker for future use, and your account is now compromised.

To prevent this, look for the address bar which should be the authentic Facebook website address before entering any details of your account. Also, sometimes if you are attacked by phishing, Facebook will show a warning of redirection. You can change your log in credentials asap and save yourself from being hacked.

What’s keylogging?

Even a tech professional can have a keylogging virus on their electronic device and not realize it. These viruses are very sneaky! A keylogger virus program records everything that you type into your computer, tablet, or cell phone. This stolen information can include passwords, banking numbers, and other confidential data, which is transmitted to the hacker using TP or email. A keylogging attack can easily result in identity theft.

To prevent this, don’t use a public computer to log into your account. Keylogging software can be installed on it and you don’t realize it. Using public free WIFI can also leave you vulnerable if you log into your Facebook or Messenger while on that WIFI network.

What happens if you do get hacked on Facebook?

If you use Messenger a lot, you may share information in messages that you don’t want shared with the public. If your Messenger gets hacked, a hacker can gain access to your account and log in to review the information in your messages, or send messages individually to people in your contacts, pretending to be you.

If someone gets into your Facebook account, he or she can then change your Facebook password. Once this happens, he or she can use your account and you won’t have any success trying to log on to stop them. You probably won’t be able to do anything to prevent it until you report it to Facebook and a Facebook administrator investigates the issue.

Sometimes your account can be compromised by malware instead of an individual hacker. If this occurs, your account could be used to spam all your friends’ accounts with wall postings, private messages or both.

Can I find out who hacked my Facebook account?

Possibly. Depends on the level of sophistication of the hacker or the malware. 

You can check, though, by signing into Facebook and going to Settings and look for your History. Download a copy of your Facebook history. On the bottom, you can expand it and find the person’s IPAddress. Report to Facebook and the Police. There are online tools that can help you look up an IP address to find the location of the computer that accessed your account.

What to do if you think your account is hacked

  1. First, change your Facebook password. If you can’t log in any longer, see if you can click “reset password” and get a link emailed to you to reset it.

  2. Second, report the hack to Facebook.
    https://Facebook.com/hacked/

  3. Next, let your friends and family know, in case they get spam messages from you.

  4. Research further. Facebook has some great resources and guidance to help if you think you’ve been hacked:

    I think my Facebook account was hacked or someone is using it without my permission.
    https://www.facebook.com/help/203305893040179/?ref=u2u

  5. Get a password manager to create a secure password and add an extra layer of securitywith 2-factor authentication.

    LogMeOnce Password Manager is a free password manager that has a convenient and unique way to add more security with 2-factor authentication (often called “2FA”). Learn more about it and download it for free now: https://logmeonce.com