We’re becoming more dependent on social media as time goes by - it’s our way to communicate and connect with people, and to show bits and pieces of our lives. Facebook is one of the pioneering SoMe platforms that we still use today.
However, with such a popular and widely used platform comes a lot of responsibility for the millions of people’s data they store. Facebook has thus been a victim of several hacking attacks through its lifetime, only emphasizing how important it is to have proper security around our accounts.
Understanding the Facebook Hack:
Facebook, and other social media platforms, contain millions of user’s information. This means that the platforms should have extraordinary security measures in their software and in how they handle and process personal data.
Facebook has experienced a number of data breaches and hacking attacks in its lifetime, including several Facebook hacks. This refers to unauthorized access or manipulation of facebook accounts - the hackers infiltrate these accounts and groups with the intention of causing harm and to spread malware.
Cybercriminals have always, since the dawn of technology, exploited any newly discovered vulnerabilities. By exploiting vulnerabilities they gain access to any account that has unstable security. There are several types of hacking attacks and different motives behind each attack; below we’ll take a closer look at some of them.
Types of hacking attacks
Phishing is one of the “traditional” hacking techniques that hackers and cybercriminals use. Hackers use this technique to get login credentials and personal information from their victims - they can even create phishing that imitates facebook’s official login page. Since it looks legitimate, victims fall for the fraud and thus give the hacker exactly what they want.
A brute force attack is - as the name perhaps suggests - an attack where hackers try and force their way into your account. They use automated software to try a great number of password and username combinations until they find the right combination. This method relies on hackers’ abilities to crack passwords.
Social engineering is the manipulative method that hackers use to make convincing phishing and thus get victims’ personal information. Hackers usually get information for their social engineering through social media to then tailor the phishing to you. When they impersonate someone a victim knows or trusts, they’re more likely to actually give the information that the hacker needs.
Keyloggers are a type of malware that infects a user's device without their knowledge. Keyloggers track each keystroke and tap that the user makes on their device, which then gives the hacker the opportunity to observe the device and keylogging when the victim enters their password. If a hacker gets access to login credentials, they can easily enter social media accounts and e.g. online banks.
Session hijacking is when a hacker intercepts a session ID of an active facebook session - i.e. when a user is actively on facebook. When the hijacks a session, they can “take over” the victim’s session and thus get access to their account without the need of a password. This method is a lot easier to execute if a victim is connected to a public Wi-Fi network.
Account cloning entails that the hacker creates an exact replica of a user’s account - usually using the information the victim posts on their feed. The cloned account is thus used to trick the victim’s friends and family, which can - in worst case - lead to even more scams or identity theft.
Security vulnerabilities is yet another thing that everyone should be cautious of. Even facebook might have instances of such vulnerabilities and weaknesses which many hackers find an attractive goal.
Insider attacks involve any current or former employee of the company, in this case, facebook. If an employee is unhappy with the conditions in the organization they may end up exploiting their privileges. Here, they use their knowledge of security systems to gain access to any user account.
It’s important to note, however, that facebook and many other social media platforms use a significant amount of resources in order to have the best possible security measures to protect their users. Sometimes hackers are just too good at what they do, and they find vulnerabilities quicker than facebook can patch them.
Use strong passwords and stay updated
So, what can you do to protect your online accounts from becoming the next victim of facebook hacks? Below we’ve collected a good portion of things you should consider implementing into your cybersecurity plans to improve your overall security.
Strengthen your passwords
One of the first things you should consider when you want to improve your cybersecurity is to strengthen your passwords. To do so, you should create strong and unique passwords that have nothing to do with your pet’s name or your birthday. You can instead use a combination of special characters, numbers and lowercase and uppercase letters. And, don’t use the same password for all of your accounts. If you do so, the hacker will only have to guess one password, instead of for all of your accounts.
Use Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA)
Multi-factor authentication adds an additional layer of security to all your accounts. Anyone who wants access to your account would need a secondary authentication method, like biometric data or a one-time password. Many SoMe platforms offer MFA, so this is an easy way to secure your accounts a bit better. Stay updated
Updates, whether for your device, software or apps, often include patches that fix any vulnerabilities. So, once you update your device or software, you’re automatically a bit more secure when it comes to hacking.
Be careful with attachments
Phishing is notoriously known for links and attachments. Therefore, a good advice when it comes to attachments and links in emails and messages is to not click on it. You should always verify the sender’s identity before you click on any attachments.
Secure your devices and yourself
Securing your device is one of the important steps in order for you to protect your accounts. Some of the things that help you secure yourself and your devices are as follows:
Consider app permissions
A lot of third-party apps request access to your facebook account “if you wish to continue using the app”. Here you should stop and consider whether it really is important that the apps gets access to your facebook account. Limit the information you share with these third-party apps and services, to reduce the risk of losing your data.
Share your knowledge
Cybersecurity education is paramount. Stay updated on the latest threats, trends and best practices in the cyberlandscape. And to help others you can share your knowledge with your colleagues, friends and family - especially if you know that they aren’t the most technological people.
Monitor your account
Keep an eye on your facebook activity. Many SoMe platforms have features that let you see login activity through an extended period of time. If you see any suspicious activity you have a good reason to perhaps update and change your passwords again.
Invest in Antivirus and Anti-Malware Software
A good antivirus and anti-malware software can improve your online security significantly. This type of software helps you identify and detect malware that can compromise your data - it can furthermore remove this malware from your device. You should always keep this software updated and run regular tests and scans to make sure that your device is still protected.
Secure Your Wi-Fi Network
The last and also very important thing you can do to protect your devices and accounts is to secure your Wi-Fi. Some routers have a default code that is pretty easy to find - so it’s a good idea to change the default code to a unique password. Routers should also be kept updated and placed far from the street so outsiders won’t connect to your Wi-Fi.
Avoid the facebook hack
Facebook is one of the most used social media platforms there is. This means that it contains a lot of information that hackers want their hands on.
If you follow the steps we’ve outlined above, you’ll stand stronger against the continuing cyberthreat. Facebook has been victim of several cyberattacks, both data breaches, leaks and imitation attacks where users have had their information stolen and exploited.
Remember, that if you have an active and educated approach to cybersecurity you stand a lot better in the fight against hackers.
Caroline is a copywriter here at Moxso beside her education. She is doing her Master's in English and specializes in translation and the psychology of language. Both fields deal with communication between people and how to create a common understanding - these elements are incorporated into the copywriting work she does here at Moxso.View all posts by Caroline Preisler