Take it from me. You don’t want to get hacked. Ask me how I know. :/
A couple of weeks ago, my Facebook account was hacked. I watched it happen, before my very eyes. I noticed I had two new friends, and the notification said they had accepted my friend request. Only, I hadn’t sent them a friend request, and I had no idea who they were. They looked like regular people, but I unfriended them because I was suspicious. As soon as I did that, a chain reaction began! The hackers posed as me and posted unsavory photos to my account, over and over again. I tried reporting the posts literally within seconds of them happening… but guess what? You can’t report your own posts. So I started deleting the photos. Within about two minutes, Facebook shut my profile down due to my violating “Community Standards.” That was two weeks ago, and the profile is still deleted. Gone. I’m not sure they’ll ever restore it, which is unfortunate, considering I’ve had that profile since 2008 or so.
What’s worse is, the hackers got in to my PayPal account, and started charging Facebook ads. Oh, and that happened before my eyes, too! They charged to my bank account, then to my credit card as I was deleting the bank and credit card information. Even better? They subscribed to the ads on a monthly subscription basis, so the protocol is that PayPal will attempt to run the charges three times per billing cycle. OH, and know what else? PayPal denied my request to have the charges rescinded… three times… b/c it was a subscription so they said it was valid. I finally found someone to speak with at PayPal, and it appears they’re restoring the funds in my account. But not before I had to close my business checking account at my bank, and credit card.
All of this is to say, this has been a HUGE TIME SUCK. ZERO STARS. DO NOT RECOMMEND.
I’ve learned quite a bit in the past two weeks, and I’d like to share it with everyone, so you don’t experience this. The sad thing is, I’ve learned of several friends being hacked in the last few months, and even, just today. It’s happening A LOT.
So, here’s the advice I’ve found. First, change your passwords often. Second, use two factor authentication where ever possible, on every single account you can. Yeah, it’s a pain, but from what I’ve read, it will keep your accounts secure. Third, check out authentication apps. I’ve installed one on my phone. It’s a little confusing, but hopefully it’s doing whatever it’s supposed to be doing.
I’ve used Reddit as a source to help try to figure out how to solve the issue and get my Facebook account back. It’s been very helpful, and only time will tell if it’s successful.
I hope this is helpful to anyone who might go through this. Be careful out there, and change your passwords!!