Help, my Facebook profile has been hacked!

By Marisa Fockema
04 October 2016

The latest scam you should be aware of begins with a message, apparently from a Facebook friend, in your inbox.

Perhaps you, like thousands of Facebook users, see daily warnings about profile hacking but ignore them – until your profile is hacked.

It looks like a video with your name included. Naturally you’re curious to know who filmed you and when, so you click on it. Then you’re asked to install a programme to open the video.

Before you know it the scammers have taken over your profile and are now ready to con your Facebook friends with the same scam.

How do you ward off an attack by this Trojan Horse of cyberspace? The best way is not to try to open the video and to remove it immediately.

Read more: There’s a way to see ALL the information Facebook has on you – and it’s pretty terrifying

Then type into your search box and follow the user-friendly steps that will help you restore your profile. A tool icon in a doctor’s coat will scan your profile and help you step by step to change your password and adapt your profile.

If you’ve already added the fake video to Chrome extensions, you must also delete it from Chrome settings. Go to “chrome settings’’, then “extensions’’ and delete the video.

Facebook profile hacking is nothing new, says Professor Basie von Solms, director of the Centre for Cyber Safety at the University of Johannesburg.

The most common reason for the hacking is that users don’t have a strong enough password. They use their husband’s, wife’s or dog’s name which appears all over their profile.

Read more: ‘Too pretty to live’: How a woman convinced her parents and boyfriend to kill ‘Facebook bullies’

It’s important to choose a password that hackers won’t easily be able to guess. Basie also advises users to change their passwords often.

For more tips go to his website,

Facebook also has a help division where you can report cyber bullies, spam and hackings.

Here are a few tips to help protect your profile:

  • Keep your password safe and don’t use the same password elsewhere on the web. Don’t use your name or your partner’s name as a password. Make your password difficult for hackers to guess by using a mixture of letters and numbers.
  • Never share your login details with others. Any email that asks for these or for your password is suspect.
  • If you share a computer with others make sure you log off your Facebook profile when you’ve finished.
  • Don’t accept friendship requests from strangers. This can give swindlers the opportunity to make posts on your timeline.
  • Don’t click on suspect links, even if they come from friends.
  • Use additional security functions on Facebook, such as login warnings, when logging into your profile from another computer or tablet. Make sure your Facebook friends are trustworthy.
  • You can get Facebook to do a security check of your profile and reset or refresh your settings.

More tech tips

This clever WhatsApp trick will help you avoid some awkward situations

Can you delete a WhatsApp message AFTER you send it?

How to protect your child online

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