Being probably the most popular social website with over 500 million users, Facebook is the prime target of hackers for hacking into user accounts. The following article articulates the strategies usually opted by these hackers to hack an account and how you can prevent it.

Email Address

If somehow a hacker manages to get to your email address, it is pretty easy for him to hack your account and all the information associated with your email address. If your email address on your profile is not private, it will show to anyone who looks you up by just typing your name. Therefore amend your privacy settings as soon as possible.

Prevention

Set your email address privacy to “me only”.
Choose a primary email address that you and only you have knowledge of.
Have a secondary email address which you have access to.
Enable “secure browsing” and “login notifications” from your general account setting to keep track.

Phishing

One of the easiest and most effective method is phishing by which a user is tricked into giving out his login information. This happens when a hacker develops a fake webpage that is difficult to distinguish from the original webpage. User puts in his information to log in. This information actually goes to the hacker. Sending emails from Facebook, for instance saying that someone tagged a photo of the user and posting a link below. The user clicks the link and is redirected onto this fake webpage which makes it even harder to be doubtful since Facebook itself gives you the ability to receive your notifications on your email address. Sometimes spam apps, like those that say they can tell who visited your account, are associated with phishing websites. Another emerging trend is Facebook look-alike widgets that are used to steal login information from a user.

Prevention

NEVER click on suspicious links.
Always cross check the URL before entering any information.
Avoid look-alike widgets to login.
Prefer using the Facebook sign-in.
Enable “safe search” for searching purposes.
Warn others beforehand if you end up being phished anyway.

Keyloggers

Keylogger is a virus that can store your information by tracking your keystrokes. It can be installed onto your system via the hacker himself but also if he has remote access to your computer. Keylogger records all the activities that happen on your system and stores all the information.

Prevention

Install a good antivirus and update is regularly.
Avoid clicking suspicious emails and links.
Avoid downloading pirated softwares.
Avoid installing freebies like free toolbars etc.
Run a scan on any third-party hardwares before attaching it to your system.

Social Engineering

Any technique whereby social interaction is used to exploit a user and obtain information is called social engineering. It can range from spoofed emails, to phished links, to even a friendly chat to trick the user into tell the answers for their security questions.

Prevention

Stay alert as to how much to reveal during chats.
Use a tougher security question, one you won’t share with anyone.
Be aware that Facebook or any such website won’t send an email telling you to change your password to ‘xyz” or send them your login details.

Think twice before going ahead and making an action to prevent yourself and your e-life will be less vulnerable to being hacked.