We've heard a lot about Facebook's security and privacy policies lately, but we never think it impacts us until the unthinkable happens. Friday night my Facebook account was hacked. Someone broke into my account and started sending messages to random people in my friends list.

The messages were of a very lewd nature and were trying to direct my friends to some sort of adult dating site.

My initial reaction was confusion. Suddenly I was receiving a lot of messages from friends of a very questionable nature. And then I saw a client's name on the list. And then a colleague within the company. And my heart jumped out of my chest and landed with a squishy thump on the floor.

Oh my... who was the hacker messaging with this filth? And why?

Luckily two of my friends caught it fast and helped me lock down the hacker. It was as easy as changing my Facebook password and logging out of chat. Unsurprisingly when I changed my password, I was greeted with an alert that asked if I was taking this action because I had been hacked. Apparently the problem is persistent enough that Facebook created a standard pop-up to deal with it.

I walked away embarrassed, but lucky that it didn't get too far. As the Digital Managing Editor for Twin Falls, my account has admin privileges over all of our station's Facebook pages, DJ pages, and our affiliate sites. It could have gone bad quickly.

What can you do to keep this from happening to you?

Facebook Security Tips

Facebook has created the Safety Center to help us safeguard our security and privacy. Not only does the Center cover practical issues, like how to enable secure browsing, or track your account activity, but it also explains why security breaches happen. For instance, why does a thief or malware pusher want to access your account?

Here are the top five tips for keeping your Facebook page safe and secure:

  1. Only friend people you know.
  2. Change your passwords frequently.
  3. Only download apps from sites you trust.
  4. Keep your anti-virus software up-to-date.
  5. Log into Facebook only once per session.

It may be a hassle to change your Facebook password considering its connected to everything, but your safety and security are worth it.

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