Your friends, your messages, your personal photos and events -- so much of our lives is stored on Facebook. So what happens if a hacker interferes with your account?
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That was the concern this week for many Facebook users whose accounts were doing things they didn't ask them to do, such as automatically adding blocked users as friends. Complaints and concerns lit-up Facebook's Help Center. Facebook said the problem was caused by user error -- the contact importer has a "friend all" feature that automatically friends all of the user's contacts with a Facebook account. This incident wasn't caused by a hack or a virus, but a bottleneck in the "friend all" feature that resulted in a slew of users noticing their new friends at once.
But Facebook and its users have been hacked in the past. One hack spread through user-to-user chat. A person would click on a link and the virus would be downloaded. The virus deleted any anti-virus programs on the user's computer and then sent itself to all of their Facebook friends just like how the user had received it.
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Mashable reached out to Facebook for some tips on how to prevent being hacked and they offered us these security tips:
- Review your security settings and consider enabling login notifications. They’re in the drop-down box under Account on the upper right hand corner of your FB home page.
- Don't click on strange links, even if they're from friends, and notify the person if you see something suspicious.
- Don't click on friend requests from unknown parties.
- If you come across a scam, report it so that it can be taken down.
- Don’t download any applications you aren’t certain about.
- For using Facebook from places like hotels and airports, text “otp” to 32665 for a one-time password to your account.
- Visit Facebook’s security page, http://www.facebook.com/security and read the “Take Action” and “Threats” sections.
Facebook partnered with online security companies McAfee, Symantec and others this past April to create the Antivirus Marketplace. Through these partnerships, it is able to offer users free trials of anti-virus software.
Has your Facebook or other social networking account ever been hacked? Tell us about the experience in the comments.
This story originally published on Mashable here.