Help! My Facebook Account Has Been Hacked!

How to regain control of your Facebook account after an account hack.

Shocked girl looking at notebook computer
Photo: AIMSTOCK / Getty

You've just got a text from one of your friends saying that he is wiring some money to your hotel in Paris and that he hopes you are OK. The only problem is that you're not in Paris, you're in Michigan eating Cheetos and watching Judge Judy. Before your orange cheese covered fingers can text him back, you start getting more texts from other concerned friends who also say they are wiring you money ASAP.

What the heck is going on?

It looks like your Facebook account has just been backed and the hackers who did it are impersonating you and hitting your friends up for cash.

How Did They Hack My Account?

There are any number of ways they Hackers may have hacked your Facebook account. They could have guessed your password. Set up an Evil Twin Wi-Fi Hotspot at a coffee shop and stolen your credentials through a Man-in-the-middle attack. You could have left your account logged in at the computer lab at your school, or maybe they're using your account from a stolen tablet or phone.

Regardless of how they managed to obtain your Facebook credentials, they best thing you can do is take quick action to limit the amount of damage they do. Because if you waste too much time, they me begin using scamming tactics to trick your friends into falling for scams that depend on your friends thinking that the scammer is actually you.

You could end up losing a whole lot of friends if they also get taken by these scammers and blame you for not better protecting your account with 2-factor authentication, or many of the other Facebook Security features available to help prevent accounts from becoming hacked.

Before things get further out of hand, follow the steps below to bring things back to normal.

If You Believe Your Facebook Account Has Been Hacked:

1. Go to the Facebook Account Compromise Reporting Page

2. Click the "My Account Is Compromised" button

3. On the "Identify Your Account" page, enter either your e-mail address, phone number, Facebook user name, or your name and and the name of one of your friends.

4. Follow the instructions provided to report your account as compromised.

5. Once your account has been reinstated and is back under your control, reset your Facebook password from the "Account Settings" page by clicking the "Change" link under the "My Account" Password section.

6. From the Facebook Privacy Settings page, click on "Apps and Websites". Under the "Apps You Use" section, click "Edit Settings" and then click on the "X" to delete any suspicious / malicious apps that may have been used to compromise your account.

7. Alert your friends that your account was hacked and warn them not to click on any links that the hackers who compromised your account may have posted on their walls, in chat sessions, or in Facebook e-mails that the hackers sent to them.

Again, to help prevent this from happening in the future, consider enabling features such as Facebook Login Approvals and any other Facebook authentication approval process that relies on multiple authentication factors.

A few simple steps can greatly improve your Facebook security and privacy.

Check out these additional resources for tips on how to stay safe on Facebook: