Social media is great for keeping up with friends and relatives. It’s also a great time waster. You can use social media to shop, get the latest news and read the political rantings of some guy on the other side of the world whom you will never meet.
With billions of active monthly users, Facebook is among the biggest social networks in the world. It’s no surprise that scammers and hackers frequently target Facebook users. A recent data breach targeted 533 million users. Tap or click here for details on the breach, along with some safety tips.
Having your data exposed is one thing, but a hacked account is another situation entirely. You may get locked out of your account, and hackers can use it to spam your contacts or even hack them as well. Now, people are trying new ways to recover their accounts when Facebook fails them. It sounds clever, but it’s not cheap. It’s also a bad idea.
Here’s the backstory
If your Facebook account is hacked, your first instinct might be to contact the company directly. Well, good luck with that. Facebook, like many Big Tech companies, is notoriously hard to reach, especially by phone. If you manage to get through, you’ll likely get a recorded message telling you to try the company’s online resources.
Facebook has an automated recovery tool for users whose accounts have been compromised. Go to facebook.com/hacked and select the option that applies to you. From there, you’ll go through the steps to secure your account.
You’ll be asked to upload a copy of your driver’s license to prove you are who you are. Aside from the security risk, this step doesn’t always work. NPR states people are having problems recovering their accounts through this method.
Facebook says it has fewer people available to review the claims due to the pandemic. Artificial intelligence is being employed, but it’s a slow process.
According to NPR, users are spending $300 on Oculus Quest 2 virtual reality devices in an attempt to recover their Facebook accounts. Facebook owns Oculus, and the VR company has its own customer support that is easier to get in touch with.
If you call Oculus customer support, you can get help by proving you bought one of its products. Just read off the serial number from the box and return the product when you’re done. You don’t even need to open the box.
This complicated method is not a guarantee, however, as it won’t always succeed. Additionally, sales of the headset are being stopped due to a problem with the lining that is causing irritation to some users.
No matter how you secure your account, watch out for scams that target you at this critical point. Tap or click here for three social media account verification scams to watch out for.
Protect your account
Before having your Facebook account hacked and taking desperate measures to recover it, take the following steps to reduce the risks:
- Use a strong password and change it often. Tap or click here for 5 password tips.
- Use two-factor authentication (2FA).
- Don’t add any unnecessary information to your Facebook account and profile, especially your phone number.
- Report any suspicious activity to Facebook.
- Check if your account is part of a breach by going to HaveIBeenPwned and entering your email address.
- You can fiddle with the Facebook app itself to increase your safety. Tap or click here for 10 tips on changing your Facebook privacy and security settings.