I received several messages today from friends and family letting me know they’d received a message via Facebook which sounded suspicious. They feared my Facebook account had been compromised or hacked, and it looks like they were correct. I did NOT send the first message in the Facebook thread below, and still have no idea how this message was posted from my account.
As of this writing, I’m still not sure what happened. I HAVE changed my Facebook password, but I could not identify a Facebook application which I may have “authorized” to use my account which could be to blame for this. I am VERY wary of using / authorizing Facebook apps, and only have five that I’ve authorized in the past. One of the messages I saw orginated with “Facebook Mobile,” but that isn’t a “Facebook application” which I’ve authorized. It’s a bit scary to know someone has compromised my online account and I’m not sure how to be sure I’ve stopped them.
The following six suggestions were included in the February 9, 2009 CNN article, “Fears of impostors increase on Facebook” as security suggestions for Facebook users:
- Be suspicious of anyone — even friends — who ask for money over the Internet. Verify their circumstances independently, either by calling them directly, or checking with mutual friends.
- Choose a strong password and use unique credentials for each of your Web accounts. Facebook says hackers tap into one site and then try to reuse passwords on others.
- Use an up-to-date browser that features an anti-phishing blacklist.
- Use and run anti-virus software on your computer.
- Reset your Facebook password if you suspect your account has been compromised.
- Have more than one contact e-mail address. This will help if one of them is hacked.
If you have any suggestions about other steps I should take to secure my Facebook account, I’d love to hear them. For now I’ve just reset my password.
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