The thought of getting hacked on Facebook Messenger can be disturbing. And if your app has been acting up or you’ve been noticing messages you don’t recall sending, it’s possible that your Messenger has been hacked. So, what signs should you look out for? Detailed below are some of those signs and what to do to recover your account.
5 signs that your Facebook Messenger got hacked
Most people only come to the conclusion that their Facebook Messenger has been hacked after their account is used to send out illicit messages. But by arming yourself with some insider knowledge, you won’t have to wait until a hacker starts sending out phishing messages with your account to realize your Messenger has been hijacked.
Check out the signs below to learn how to tell if a hacker has compromised your Facebook Messenger.
1. An unusual email notification asking you to change your Facebook password
Facebook will send you an email with the option to reset your password if you have been locked out of your account. But if you receive an email asking you to do a password reset that is unsolicited, it could mean that hackers are trying to force a password change on your account.
An email notification like this is one of the first signs that someone is trying to gain access to your Facebook account. So if you get an unusual email from Facebook asking you to change your password, it’s possible someone is trying to hijack your account.
2. Modifications to personal account information
Has any of your personal information on Facebook suddenly changed? If you didn’t make these modifications, you have every reason to believe that you have been hacked. Depending on the hacker’s intention, you might notice that details like your current city, profile picture, name, and birthday have been tampered with.
3. Unusual friend requests
Has there been a sudden influx of unusual friend requests sent from your Facebook account? Your account may be under siege. One of the things a hacker may do after gaining access to your account is to try to collect personal information from other users. And this is easier to do when the hacker makes new friends with other users connected to your account.
4. Login issues
When a hacker takes over your Messenger account (or hacks your Telegram account, for that matter), one of their first moves will be to kick you out of the account. They do this by trying to change your password so as to deny you login access. So if your Facebook Messenger suddenly rejects your password, bear in mind that a hacker might have succeeded in changing the password.
5. Suspicious personal messages
If you suddenly begin to see unusual messages sent from your Messenger, it could be that a hacker already has access. Such access allows the hacker to send malicious messages to other users from your Messenger.
How and why Messenger gets hacked
Despite all the safety features available to Messenger users, hackers constantly strive to find new ways to hack in. Apart from physically stealing your login details, some of the techniques hackers may use to hack your Facebook Messenger include phishing, keylogging, hacking using cookies, or using tracking programs like Spyier or PhoneSpector.
That said, you may be wondering why hackers are targeting Facebook Messenger. Below are a few possible reasons.
Why do hackers target Messenger accounts?
Facebook Messenger stands as one of the world’s top three mobile messaging apps today. As such, it’s not surprising that hackers find its huge user base attractive.
As a result of Messenger’s many users, hackers can easily target victims by sending messages from the hacked account to a list of friends, spreading malicious codes quickly and faster. And because Facebook Messenger has a diverse user base from all over the world, it’s a breeding ground for hackers looking to target unsuspecting international profiles from other parts of the world.
Can you get hacked by opening a message on Facebook?
The short answer is, no. You cannot get hacked just by opening a message on Facebook. The only way your account can be hacked is when you interact with the content of the message.
What happens if you reply to a message from someone who was hacked?
Replying to a message from someone whose Messenger was hacked doesn’t mean you will get hacked. However, you may stand a higher chance of receiving more unsolicited messages in the future. Additionally, your chances of having your account compromised increase the moment you start interacting with questionable messages.
What to do if your Facebook Messenger account is hacked
When a hacker hijacks your Facebook Messenger, there are several things to do to keep your friends safe and recover your account. Here are some measures to take if you find out your Facebook Messenger account has been hacked.
1. Inform your friends as soon as possible
If you notice that your account has been compromised, try contacting your friends immediately. Tell them to help reach out to as many other friends as possible. Above all, alert them that they should ignore any message sent from your account asking for any personal information.
2. Log out of all sessions and change your password
If you’re still logged in to Messenger, check all login sessions. If you suspect something out of the ordinary, log out of all sessions and change your password to something stronger.
Follow these steps to log out of all sessions:
- Open Facebook Settings
- Navigate to Security and Login
- Check the list of all the devices you have logged in from
- Select Log Out of All Sessions.
Next, you should proceed to change your password immediately. Here’s how:
- Select Settings and Privacy
- Choose Settings
- Scroll down and select Security and Login
- Choose Login and select Edit
- Change your password
3. Report the incident to Facebook
If a hacker has gone as far as logging you out of your account, meaning you no longer have access to your account, report the incident by visiting Facebook’s Report Compromised Account page.
4. Remove suspicious applications
Sometimes, hackers take over a user’s Messenger through an application installed knowingly or unknowingly. If you’ve been hacked, check your devices for suspicious applications. You can do this by going to Settings > Apps and Websites. From there, remove any suspicious applications.
As you enjoy your time on the Messenger app, don’t forget about the possibility of a break in security. And if you do get hacked on Facebook Messenger, follow the steps highlighted above to get your account back and running again.