If you believe you have been hacked on Facebook, that might not actually be the case, according to Tom Kelly, the owner of Tech and Video Works (techandvideoworks.com).
The bad news is that a scammer might have used your profile picture and name to create a duplicate account. The good news is that your real account may still be secure. In any event, you should immediately change your password.
If you have received a strange message from a friend that does not sound like it is from them, or if you have received a friend request from somebody you are already friends with, that is an indication that their account may have been duplicated. Let them know about it right away, so that they can report it.
To report a duplicate profile, go to the profile and click on the ellipsis (…) to the far right of the page beneath the profile picture. The rest is self-explanatory.
Of course, the best cure is prevention. Making your account invisible to the public will ward off the copycats.
But if you still want your profile to be seen and found, “the best defense is to set up two-step authentication,” Kelly said. Go to settings, then click on the security and login section to set it up. Once you do, you will receive a six-digit code via a text message sent to your phone. You can also use an authentication app or you can download backup codes in case you ever lose your phone.
Kelly advises to “always have two-step verification turned on” and to not reuse passwords. “Even for little things, I suggest not reusing your passwords. Add variations to your password, add a symbol, or change the order of things. I suggest using the suggested password on your device and then save it.”
Also protect your devices with passwords. Kelly recommends using a password service.
He recommends iCloud Keychain for Apple devices. Complex passwords also can be saved to your devices on Google Chrome or Microsoft Edge.
“A benefit of doing this is that you do not have to write all of your passwords down,” said Kelly, who also recommends password programs like 1Password.
Making sure that software updates on your devices are current is a good idea because most updates are security related.
Kelly also warns to “be careful if somebody calls you claiming to be from Facebook to verify the code that was just sent to you. They are trying to get that code so that they can get into your account. The company will never call you. That’s a red flag.”