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When Your Facebook Gets Hijacked & How To Stop It

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(Photo Illustration by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

(Photo Illustration by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Over the weekend, Tony watched the hilarity unfold as he realized that one of his friend’s Facebook accounts had been hijacked by her children. The uncharacteristic posts were a quick indicator that something was amiss.

The most common way our Facebooks get hijacked is from leaving our accounts logged in on our computers and smartphones and then leaving the device unattended. It only takes a few moments to post one or two things and disappear to let the mayhem commence.

Here are couple of things you can do to prevent hacking and hijacking of your social media accounts:

1. Log out. Plain and simple, do not leave your account signed in when you leave your device unattended.

2. Password protect your device. Our lives are so wrapped around our smart phones and tablets, leaving your device unprotected means that not just your friends, but strangers as well, can have access to your social media and even more sensitive information.

3. Create a password that no one can easily guess. “Password” is not a secure password. You should create a password that doesn’t reference addresses, family names, pets’ names, etc. It should also have numbers and punctuation. Try replacing a letter with a number such as zero (0) for the letter “O”, 1 for the letter “I”, or 3 for the letter “E”. The @ can be a substitute for the letter “A”, ! can also sit in for the letter “I” as well.

The above steps can prevent friends, family, coworkers, and strangers from hijacking your social media accounts from your device. Here are some extra tips on securing your account from digital hijacking from MarketingEasy.net.

4. Use secure browsing. Under Account Securit, make sure that you have the HTTPS browsing setting checked. When you look at the url in your address bar, the “https” will let you know that you’re logged in to a secure session.

5. Check the URL. Again, keep an eye on your address bar if you think the Facebook link you clicked on isn’t up to snuff. Fake sites will move the dot around or will not have http://www.facebook.com spelled out fully. If it looks unusual, it’s probably a scam.

6. Beware of links. Facebook is rife with scams. Avoid clicking on links on friends’ feeds that look suspicious. Google is your friend. Always check official websites for businesses offering Facebook deals. Anything else could be a phishing scam.

7. Beware of “Friends” you don’t know. We’re all eager to expand our Friends list, but it’s actually really easy to create a number of fake accounts. Hackers can gain access to your account by using an account recovery tool that allows you to get back into your account through 3 “Friends” if you forget your password and secret answer.

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