Angela McNamara, a Facebook user in Canada, got three bad surprises in a row. First, her Facebook profile was hacked and taken over. Second, the attackers activated Facebook’s two-factor authentication (2FA), using the extra security feature to double-down on keeping Angela out of her own account. And third, try as she might, she got no recovery help from Facebook.
The site offers an automated process to attempt account recovery, but it’s no help if the attackers have already changed other account details like the associated email address. The automated process did not work for Angela, and she was completely locked out of her own memories, photos, and social interactions. So, what did she do? Well, she found a solution, but it was hardly practical.
Angela connected with other hack victims like herself and learned she wasn’t the only one up Facebook creek without a paddle. Then she heard about a technique that seemed to be working – some victims were purchasing Facebook’s proprietary VR headset, the Oculus Quest 2, for $299. Once the expensive hardware arrived, the victims contacted Facebook, shared the device’s serial number, and promptly had their Facebook accounts restored. After that, they returned the unopened headset. Angela did it, and it worked for her too.
But we have an easier solution. MUCH easier.
Set up 2FA on your account now, so hackers don’t hijack your profile and use your own security against you, like what happened with Angela. Passwords are simply not enough to protect you – they can be discovered in data breaches or through brute-force attacks. 2FA requires two pieces of evidence that prove you are you. One is your password, and the other is a method of your own choosing: using codes sent to a third-party app, using a physical security key, or using codes texted to your mobile phone.
Here’s how to set it up.
How to set up 2FA in Facebook
Click the “down arrow” account button in the upper right corner of your Facebook page.
Click Settings & Privacy, then Settings, then Security and Login.
Scroll down to Two-Factor Authentication and click Use two-factor authentication.
Select which method of 2FA you’d like to use – app, key, or text.
Good. Now you’re protected. This makes it tremendously more difficult for attackers to hack your account. And the great thing is, 2FA only comes into play for someone who tries to access your account from an unrecognized device. You’ll only have to deal with it when you, for example, log in using Mom and Dad’s computer over the holidays.
Now, spread the word. Learn more about 2FA and tell your loved ones to set it up so nobody has to live through a social media nightmare like Angela did. Your security is in your hands.