Lately it seems that there is an epidemic of people crying that their Facebook accounts have been hacked. In fact, in most cases they haven’t been hacked, but someone unknown to the them is using their picture and name to build up a new Facebook account. The person doing this sends out friend requests to the victim’s friends asking them to add them.
So what’s going on here? The person whose identity is hijacked really has no idea it’s happened until someone tells them, but the impact to their Facebook account is zero. Where the damage occurs is when the fan account starts spamming the friends it accumulated which is done in the name of the victim.
The remedy is reporting this to the victim so that they can report it to Facebook and have the fake account removed.
To recap, you most likely haven’t been “hacked” , they don’t have access to your account. They do have your picture and they are using your name to create a fake account. You may not know about it until someone you know asks you why you are asking them to friend you again.
However, on the other side of this situation is the person receiving such a request. What happens to them? Once I accept a friend request from someone they get added to my friends list and what they can see or do is based on my privacy settings.
Facebook has been working for years on the matter of privacy and has been striving to simplify the process and make it more understandable for everyone. Their latest effort is “The New Privacy Basics” article which can be found at http://newsroom.fb.com/news/2017/01/introducing-the-new-privacy-basics/.
This article contains a ton of useful links to Facebook resources. However, the most important one is not readily apparent. Go to https://www.facebook.com/about/basics to actually see the Privacy Basics section. Doing so will walk you through what you need to do and why, so that you can feel secure about your Facebook account.
This is actually worth your time, so I suggest that you go there ASAP and take a look and follow the links it contains. If you are truly pressed for time, at least watch the video which can be found half way down the page.
Once you view the Privacy Basics page, take the time to come back to http://newsroom.fb.com/news/2017/01/introducing-the-new-privacy-basics/ and scroll down to the bottom of the page and click on each of the links there that will help you by:
- Take the Privacy Checkup
- Choose who sees what you post
- Increase account security by turning on login approvals
If you are really concerned about someone hacking your account there is one thing that you can do right now and that is to change your password! Here is a link to an article on Facebook that will walk you through the process https://www.facebook.com/help/213395615347144
Take some time and go through everything here and you will able to use Facebook with confidence that anything posted in your name is actually done by you…and not some one else!