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5Million Facebook accounts at risk due to cyber attack – What can I do?

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Facebook users have been warned over a reported cyber-attack which has put five million accounts at risk.

Nick Ascoli of PIXM, an anti-phishing browser extension, has issued the warning after millions of accounts were reportedly “stolen and breached”.

The attack warning relates to a scam which sees mock Facebook pages sent out via Messenger in an effort to dupe unsuspecting victims into sharing their personal details.

Facebook Accounts at risk

Nick Ascoli warned: “Once the adversary has compromised the account of a Facebook user, they log in to that account – presumably automatically and then distribute new phishing links to all of that user’s friends.”

Head of the City of London Police’s National Fraud Intelligence Bureau, Superintendent Sanjay Andersen, said: “Criminals hack people’s email and social media accounts to access a wealth of valuable personal information about the individual, which they can use to commit fraud.

“This includes passwords for other accounts like online banking. Criminals also use compromised accounts to imitate the victim online and trick their family and friends into sending money.

What can I do

“One of the most important things that you can do to improve the security of your online accounts is having two-factor authentication enabled. Not only will it prevent hackers from accessing your accounts even if they have your password, but it will also keep your valuable information out of the hands of criminals.”

How to keep hackers out of your email and social media accounts

1: Secure your email accounts

If a hacker gets into your email, they could:

  • reset your other account passwords
  • access private information such as contacts, messages or photos.

Your email password should be strong and different to all your other passwords. This will make it harder to crack or guess. Using 3 random words is a good way to create a strong, unique password that you will remember. Enable Two-factor authentication (2FA) in your email account settings, it will help to stop hackers from getting into your account, even if they have your password.

How to change your email password:

2: Enable two-factor authentication (2FA)

If a hacker gets into your social media account, they could:

  • access private information such as contacts, messages or photos.
  • send messages containing malicious links to your followers.
  • trick friends or followers into sending them money by pretending to be you.
  • extort you for money in exchange for restoring access to your account.

Use three random words to create a strong, unique password for your social media accounts. Enable Two-factor authentication (2FA) in your account settings, it helps to stop hackers from getting into your accounts, even if they have your password.

How to turn on two-factor authentication (2FA)

For email accounts:

For social media accounts:

Watch out for suspicious messages

Be cautious of social media messages that ask for your login details or authentication codes, even if the message appears to be from someone you know.

What to do if one of your online accounts has been hacked

If your email or social media account has been hacked, it’s important that you act fast. Here’s some useful information on the steps you can take to try and recover the account.

Report it

If one of your online accounts has been hacked, report it to Action Fraud by visiting www.actionfraud.police.uk, or calling 0300 123 2040.

More cybersecurity resources

Recommended: Cybersecurity Knowledge Base

Remember, CyberSecurity Starts With You!

  • Globally, 30,000 websites are hacked daily.
  • 64% of companies worldwide have experienced at least one form of a cyber attack.
  • There were 20M breached records in March 2021.
  • In 2020, ransomware cases grew by 150%.
  • Email is responsible for around 94% of all malware.
  • Every 39 seconds, there is a new attack somewhere on the web.
  • An average of around 24,000 malicious mobile apps are blocked daily on the internet.

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5Million Facebook accounts at risk due to cyber attack - What can I do?

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