What to do if your Facebook Account Gets Hacked
First off take a long deep breath. We all will survive without Facebook..(gulp)..right?
Last Friday I woke up to find that my Facebook had some sort of log in attempt failure that was not from me. They asked me to ID a few photos from albums of Facebook friends to confirm my identity. Easy enough, or so I thought. The first picture they showed me was of my niece. I quickly began to type in the name Roseanne but the page returned to the previous page. I assumed I must have accidentally hit the backspace button so I started the little identity quiz again. Next up I saw a picture of my daughters boyfriend, I clicked the letter B and poof , we were back to the starting page again. I paused and thought, I am clearly doing something wrong. I read over the instructions multiple times as I gulped down my morning coffee hoping the caffeine would make me see what step I was missing that was causing me to be catapulted back to the start page. I took a deep breath and decided to try once again for my third and final try. Nervously I hit continue and saw three pictures, one of my sister in laws face ad two of her children. I looked at the image to be sure it was her. I then thought what if they pulled these images from my brother in laws album or my mother in laws album and what if that was the case with the other two images. My heart raced as I started to type in her name and as soon as I did, yup you guessed it I was tossed back to the start page and told I had exceeded my time limit to identify three Facebook friends. All I could do was yell at my computer screen “You’ve got to be kidding me!!”. I assumed I would have to wait an hour and try again. While I was waiting I decided to check my emails and saw an email from my friend that was sent at 5:30 a.m. asking why I reported her as spam and unfriended her. Considering I was sound asleep dreaming of coupons at 5:30 a.m. and that I would never unfriend her it dawned on me… I was hacked!
My stomach sank and all I could hear was the swishing around of the coffee I just chugged in my stomach. I quickly went to check the How to Shop for Free Facebook page to see if it was okay but I could no longer access anything on Facebook. By now I was in full panic mode. I did what I always do when I am in panic mode, I called Cardinal. I blabbered away at her to what was going on and she went to check and saw she too had a weird message from me as well as a message saying my page was no longer available. “Aghhh!”, I exclaimed. “I cannot live without Facebook!” I did not think I was addicted but I clearly am. I normally do well under stress. I have stayed focused in life altering situations. I have been through more than my fair share of tragedy and kept it together but today my Facebook was gone and I was a blubbering fool!
Here is what you can do if this happens to you
1.Bookmark this page in case this happens to you
2.You can call Facebook (insert sarcastic laugh). Facebook has a phone number but they do not actually answer the phone. You can leave a message but chances are they will never call you back. If you want to call them Facebook’s phone number is (650)-543-4800
3. Skip step two
4. Prove your identity to them by having them contact you by cell phone. (If you have been hacked before doing this skip ahead to step 5 )
To add your cell phone number to your account you need to go to your timeline and click on Update info
Then on the right side of the screen under About click on Contact and Basic Info
Then add a mobile phone number to your account. Be sure to select “only me” from the drop down next to your cell number, unless of course you want all of Facebook to have your phone number! But here is the kicker. If you don’t already have this set up on your Facebook account before you get hacked it won’t do you any good. Although they provided clear directions on how I could add my cell phone number I was still not able to access Facebook and if you can’t access Facebook you can’t add your number. So for me this step was useless but I strongly advice all of you to do this now.
5. Send them personal identification. The last alternative I had was to send Facebook a copy of my license,or two other forms of personal identification like a passport, birth certificate, social security card etc. Now, raise your hand if you think sending a copy of your id over the internet while being hacked is a good idea. I trust that none of you have your hands raised right? What other choices are there, nada! By now I am in full panic mode. Eventually I talked myself down and realized if I was locked out of Facebook for life I may in fact survive. Once I was feeling calmer I reread the options and realized it stated I could block out identifying numbers from my form of identification before uploading it. Facebook wanted to make sure my name and address matched what they have on file. So that is what I did and within minutes Facebook and I were back together! Granted we still have a few issues but we are working them out!
It is true what they say, You really don’t appreciate what you have until it’s gone.
I love you Facebook!