Once you read this guide, you will be able to see when your Facebook Messenger profile gets hacked and the best steps you can take to block this situation as soon as possible.
It’s Frankie here. I am here today to talk to you about defending yourself from hacking on your Messenger account.
If you are here, you likely already suspect (or know for sure) that your Messenger account has gotten hacked by someone.
If it is any consolation, you are not the only one. In fact, there are nearly 50 million accounts hacked on Facebook every year according to research.
Though Facebook has taken very direct measures to ensure the safety and security of its users, it is not as complicated as you might think to hack into someone’s Facebook profile, and consequently, their Messenger.
In some cases, depending on how you set out to hack in you can do it without excessive computer skills.
There are even spy apps that can allow hackers to spy on your profile and read your conversations. See where you comment, who you are following and like, and much more private and personal content.
Phishing is another way that hackers can find a way into your Facebook account. I can tell you more about this method if you read this article.
But, let’s get back to the problem here.
This guide is going to help you block hackers getting into your Messenger.
With my tips, you can not only stop someone from hacking into your Facebook Messenger, but you can keep your profile and account secure.
Just imagine being like a gritty detective.
Let’s don the brown trench coat and hat and get to it.
Getting Rid of a Hacker on Your Messenger
Allow me to outfit you with your own personal virtual gun and handcuffs so we can track down fiendish cyber villains.
Here’s what you do. There are 4 ways that you can block a hacker on Facebook profiles (and Messenger):
- Change your password or reset it (if you no longer have access to your profile)
- Report the hacker to Facebook directly
- Remove suspect applications connected to your Facebook
- Boost your account security
Let’s show you what all of this means.
1. Change or Reset Your Password
One of the very first things that you should be doing is changing your password.
DON’T RUSH! BE CAUTIOUS!
Be careful not to make the mistake of closing open sessions. If at this time, the hacker is connected to your profile, it might make them suspicious like they will get discovered. If he changes the password, it will block you out of your own account.
Now, move stealthily like nothing has changed and change the password.
The process itself is simple, just takes a few quick steps:
- Start by accessing your Facebook from your computer, smartphone or tablet
- Choose Settings > Security and Login > Login > Change Password
- Enter the current password on your account and set a strong one in its place. Then click to Save Changes.
Head over to Google and open an Incognito Mode tab and make sure you can login to Facebook with this new password. You can now close out all sessions. If you access Facebook, you should also be able to access Messenger as well.
What if a hacker already guessed you would notice them and changed the password?
All is not lost – you just need to reset the password in a couple of different ways.
Once you are at the Facebook login page, click on “Forgot your password?” When you get to the next screen, you will get asked to enter a phone number or email that you registered with. Once you do this, you can get a one-time code good for resetting your account. If the email address is no longer valid, there are still other ways that the social network can reach out to you.
If the hacker changes your password, you should receive a message in your email. If you catch this, you can follow a unique link in that email that undoes these changes and protects your account from this fraudulent activity.
Changing a password can absolutely stop a hacker in their tracks, but this is not as effective against viruses.
2. Report Messenger Hack to Facebook
You might have noticed suspicious activity like sending spam to your friends from your account which could indicate that you have been hacked by a virus. You can, in this case, notify Facebook directly through the Report Compromised Account page.
You can use this option even if you cannot access your account using the first method of changing your password.
Facebook will use all of their resources to rec over your account. It is unfortunately not immediate, and Facebook as a whole can often take up to a week to answer these requests initially. The positive is that they 100% solve the issues.
3. Disconnect or Remove Suspicious Applications
Apps can be as bad as hackers for infiltrating your account. You can even give these apps authorization without considering what they are asking for.
Don’t kick yourself – I think everyone has been there at least once.
There are many sites requiring registration. You can do this by logging in through your Facebook account to save time. Absolutely saves time.
Unfortunately, this is also a welcome to any apps containing a virus or might exclusively just be a virus. Now they have access to your account to infect it.
You needn’t worry, there are some ways that you can fix the problem.
Here is what you need to do:
- Login to Facebook
- Go to Settings > Apps and Websites and peruse the list
- Click Show All on Apps and Websites > Logged in with Facebook choose the ones you want to remove, and then choose Remove from the upper right. You then must confirm that you want to Delete all posts, photos, and videos on Facebook by these sources.
This is a very simple solution that can work 99.9% of the time. I would advise you not to use Facebook for fast logging into and registering apps that you do not fully know and trust.
4. Boost Your Account Security
One of the best ways that you can stop a hacker and at the same time improve your account security is to enable two-factor authentication (2FA).
Let’s explain this without the fancy words…
Every time you access your account with an application, use your credentials to access a site, or connect to Facebook or Messenger from a new phone or location, the service asks you for a unique 6 digit code. You get this code texted directly to your mobile phone.
Hackers have it very, very hard with this level of security.
If it is still not clear on what it is or how to use it, I have put together a helpful video for you to watch really quick.
So how do you activate it?
- Login to Facebook and confirm that you have a phone number linked to your account. If not, you can do this by following this guide: How Do I Add or Remove a Mobile Phone Number from My Facebook Account?
- Click on Security and Login tab on the left.
- Scroll down to Two-Factor Authentication and then choose Edit.
- Choose how to receive the code (the Authentication App or Text Message [SMS])
Once you have done this, your account gets cleared of its hacker problem and you have increased security for your account and profile.
It will not matter if you get hacked or not, having this feature active is wise for your account. There are even apps like Authy (Free) that turn on authentication for Messenger as well as other social media apps.
So, give yourself a pat on the back – you have solved your first case detective! Your mission is complete.
It is another amazing success that we owe to Inspector Gadget’s method!
You might have won against the hacker today, but there is no guarantee that the same thing cannot happen again in the future. This is why I am going to take a little time to relay some tips that will help you, such as:
- How to find out if your profile has been hacked (that nosy hacker might not always use the same approach)
- How to keep a Facebook and Messenger app safe and secure moving forward
Find Out if Facebook or Messenger Has Gotten Hacked
There are surprisingly several ways to learn if someone has broken into your profile – here are some of the most common ones:
1. Your Login Credentials Have Changed
It seems very obvious and straightforward, but it is worth mentioning.
You can typically notice that someone has hijacked your account by attempting to login with your credentials and failing. The system keeps saying over and over that the password or email is wrong.
Now I am not going to go into great detail and label the methods used by hackers to make this happen, but I can tell you that to learn more you need a friend you can trust.
You need this person to check if your account is still there and if it is active in chat. If it is, the hacker only changed your login credentials.
How Do You Fix It: Obviously, you cannot get into your account with credentials changed, so your options are very limited. Your only option now is to reach the support page and attempt to restore or recover your account using options that Facebook has available.
You should be happy to know that this type of attack is actually pretty rare because Facebook sends emails indicating password or email changes. The hacker not only needs to be talented to pull it off, but it is going to take a good bit of time to manage as well. This is why famous people and large corporations are the typical targets for this involved technique.
So, on a borderline question:
What if a hacker has not get changed credentials? How would I know they were accessing the account?
Luckily, there are actually a very easy way to find out if anyone else logs into your account. Let me show you.
2. Where Are You Logged In?
If you fear that your profile is getting accessed by someone else, there is an easy way to find out if this is true.
You need only follow this procedure. You can perform this from a phone, PC, or tablet (I would avoid using a phone because the user interface is easier with a PC or tablet).
- Login to Facebook
- Click the drop-down menu (arrow) in the upper right corner
- Choose Settings
- Choose Security and Login and then Where You’re Logged In
Here you can find a list of devices and locations. If you find a device that is not yours or a location other than where your region, there is a 99% probability you’ve been hacked.
How Do You Fix It: If you notice suspicious activity on this list, you can disconnect the device by clicking the three dots and then on Log Out.
Hackers rarely do more nefarious things than messaging your friends with ads for fake Ray-Bans or other products. These attacks might be plentiful, but they are easily remedied with this approach.
3. Your Credit Card Has Gotten Used
Yet another way for you to determine whether someone has accessed your account is to note the purchase history. This method only really matters if you have a credit cards stored and associated with your Facebook profile. The hacker could have made purchases.
Here is what you do:
- Login to Facebook
- Get to the drop-down menu with the arrow in the upper right corner
- Choose Settings and then Payment. You can then choose to view your payment history.
How Do You Fix It: If you notice purchases that were not made by you, you must contact Facebook immediately. The team is very attuned to these scams and respond quickly in these situations.
Banks are getting better about warning their customers for suspected fraud, so these hacks are typically one and done. Unfortunately, sometimes that money cannot get recovered when it is challenging to prove frauds.
4. Other Ways to Learn You Were Hacked
As I mentioned before, there are actually many different ways to know if you account has gotten hacked, and some other red flags might be:
- Information changed for: birthdate, email, name, or password
- The account is requesting to be friends with people you do not know
- The account has sent messages without you writing them
- Posts have appeared in your timeline that you didn’t compose
Bonus: Friend’s Messenger Gets Hacked
Everyone has seen the Messenger-specific malware and viruses. They are very common. I’d say everyone knows at least one person who has fallen victim to these.
Once your profile gets infected, you spam message a link to all of your contacts. If they click the link, they get infected too.
One of the most known of these is the ‘It’s You’ virus. The infected friend invites you to click on a link asking if you are the one who appears in this video.
This is a huge pain in the ass, but I can show you how to delete these hacked messages coming to you through Messenger.
How Do You Fix It: First, you need to change your password. Write messages to all of your friends and contacts not to open a link you send because you have gotten hacked. Then, reach out to the Facebook Support Page for more instructions to follow to protect and recover your account.
The attack itself is not dangerous as it does not steal data or spy on conversations. But it is a big pain in the ass to ultimately resolve.
Before we officially part ways here, I wanted to take a moment to give you some strong recommendations that I believe can help you avoid being a victim of hacking, or the target of a malware/virus attack.
Keep Your Facebook Account Secure
Once you either kick the hacker’s ass or his virus, now you only need to secure your Facebook profile.
In fact, the social media service offers great help in this regard. You can get numerous features and approaches to secure your account when you activate them.
Here, try this:
- Open Facebook and connect (I would recommend a PC or tablet)
- Go to Settings > Security and Login > Setting Up Extra Security
Now you can…
- Enable two-factor authentication
- Choose some trusted contacts (friends and family that can help you unlock your account if hacked again)
- Activate access alerts to receive notifications when someone logs in to your account. You can use this to catch a hacker immediately before serious damage occurs.
- Pay attention to phishing messages, links, and attachments for suspicious content.
With these steps, your Facebook account is much harder for a hacker to access and much easier for you to access again if it is compromised.
I would also urge you to set a complex password. Add numbers, capital letters, and signs. Make it hard to crack..
You’ve done well with being a cyber detective today – now your work is complete. I hope that you have found the answers to what you were looking for in all of this.
Before we say goodbye, let me give you a brief recap of what you have learned through this guide. Now you can be assured that you have not missed something important.
You learned how to kick hacker ass and chew bubblegum – and now you’re all out of gum. Here is what you know:
- Change and reset a Facebook password
- Remove suspicious applications
- Report issues to Facebook via official pages
- Enable two-factor authentication
- Alert friends and family immediately when you’ve been hacked
Allow me to leave you with a checklist in PDF format that you can download for free.
I then showed you some clear signs that let you know your Facebook Messenger account was hacked/infected by viruses.
The third and final portion of this article details protecting your account.
If you have any doubts and questions, you need not hesitate to contact me by writing a comment in the box below. I will be glad to help you out however I can.
Come back soon to visit me – I will have more fun tips and tricks to get the most out of your tech and apps. A big hug.