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Facebook: Three Technical Steps to Secure your Accounts from Hackers

Offline Adejoke

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Facebook is a social media platform where people connect with existing friends, link up with new friends and exchange conversations. Great number of people are on Facebook exchanging billions of conversations on a daily basis. Due to some technological advancements and sociological factors, many Facebook users are now facing challenges on securing their accounts from being hacked. Before going into the details of how to best secure your Facebook account from being hacked, it is important to first explain "what is meant by hacking?"

Hacking involves any activity that tend to gain unauthorized access to a secured computational device, computer program or an online account belonging to a person or organization either with an intent of causing harm or not. Hacking is categorized into many categories.

Ethical hacking is a type of hacking in which the hacker aims at testing the reliability of a computational device, computer program or an online account with the knowledge of the authorized owner of the target computational device, computer program or an online account. Ethical hacking which is also known as White Hat hacking tends to find out the weakness in a computer or a network system as part of penetration testing and vulnerability assessment. They aim not to harm the computer or the network.

There are also Black Hat Hackers and Grey Hackers. The Black Hat Hackers gain unauthorized access to a computer or a network without the awareness of the owner and with an intent to harm its operation or steal sensitive information from the computer or network.

Grey Hat Hackers look more like a blend of both Ethical and Black Hat Hackers. They gain unauthorized access to a computer or network system without any malicious intent but for their fun.

Unfortunately, many Facebook users have fallen victims losing their Facebook accounts to either Black Hat hackers or the Grey Hat hackers.

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You can quickly detect that a Facebook account has been hacked if you notice any of the following:

1) If you are the owner of the account and you are unable to login using your Facebook Login credentials (username and password).

2) You are not the owner of the account but you are seeing Facebook posts that are out of context of the known interests of the Original owner of the Facebook account. For example, when you see nude pictures being posted on a Facebook timeline whose owner is known to be devoted. When you see Ponzi scheme posts being submitted on the Facebook timeline of users who have never shown interest in Ponzi, definitely, the accounts have been hacked.

Many Facebook have fallen victims and many are still falling but it is surely preventable.

There are basically three approaches that you can adopt to secure your Facebook account from being hacked. They are:

1) Set up a very strong password

Many Facebook users may prefer to use easy to be remembered passwords but it is very dangerous, in consequences. Some of the easy to be remembered passwords are:

a) Using password that contains only Numbers. Example is "123456"

b) Using password that contains only Letters. Example is "NNNN"

c) Using password that has been used on another online platform(s). Example is using the same password on Facebook and Twitter.

d) Using password that reads as your First name, Other name, Surname or any of their combinations. Example is "Omooba".

e) Using password that contains a single character, number or letter repeated in a certain number of times. Example is "111111" or "aaaa" or "#####".

f) Using your year of birth, date of birth or age as your password.

The best practice to set a very strong password on your Facebook account is to ensure that the password contains the following:

a) at least one Number not repeated more than twice. Example is "1612"

b) at least a lower-case letter. Example is "a".

c) at least a letter in upper case. Example is "A".   

d) at least a symbol. Example is "&".

e) at least eight characters long. Example is "aX^05644"

f) Combination of lower-case letter, upper case letter, numbers, and symbols and must not be lesser than eight characters long.

2) Facebook Third Party Login

The second method to ensure a very strong security measure for your Facebook account is to avoid using Facebook to login to any application that lacks integrity. When you use Facebook Third Party Login to access some applications, you grant access to the apps to have some controls over your Facebook account. In fact, some applications can post to your Facebook timeline without your knowledge. With the current technological advancement, it is rather preferable to avoid granting such access to any untrusted application. This will prevent access to sensitive data on your Facebook account.

3) Set up Two-Factor Authentication

Two-Factor authentication is a standalone login system that is integrated to a website (Facebook) to strengthen the robustness, credibility, and reliability of the website (Facebook). Two-Factor Authentication will allow Facebook to generate a random number and send it to your registered phone number as SMS which you will need to submit to Facebook before gaining access to your Facebook account, each time you want to login. With Two-Factor authentication, if your password is stolen, your phone number remains with you. The randomly generated phone number that will be sent to your phone number will be required for anyone to access your Facebook Account.

Let us look into the steps involved in setting up Two-Factor Authentication for your Facebook account.

a) Login to your Facebook account.

b) Click on the "Menu Button" at the top right corner of your Facebook app. The location of this button may differ, depending on the device, browser and application being used to access Facebook. However, if you are using mobile browser, click on "Settings" at the bottom of your Facebook home page.

c) Scroll down to "Settings" and click on it.

d) Look for "Password and security" and click on it.


f) Click on "Use two-factor authentication."

g) Input your current Password. This will verify that this action is being performed by you.

h) Enter your Phone Number. Do not forget to change the country code to Nigeria (234).

i) A "Confirmation Code" will be sent to your Phone Number to verify that you are the real owner of that Phone Number. Submit the code to Facebook.

j) Press "Continue"

k) Congratulations! Your Facebook account is strongly protected from hackers.

By following the steps stated above, your Facebook account will be solidly protected from attackers and your interests will not be violated by the hackers.



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