How to recover your Facebook account

Facebook account got hacked? Follow these steps to recover your Facebook account

how to delete facebook

How to recover your Facebook account step by step 

Facebook is one of the most popular social networking apps today. With over a billion users, scams and hacked accounts on the platform are nearly inevitable. The key to recovering a hacked Facebook account is to act fast, so here’s what to do—and how to protect yourself moving forward. 

There are two primary Facebook account recovery methods which should do the trick for the majority of cases: 

Step 1: Facebook ID Upload: Submit a photo of your ID in the Facebook app

If you aren’t locked out of your Facebook account, go to Facebook ID uploader and follow the instructions from there. This is the absolute best way to verify your identity and get your account back.  The flow is pretty straightforward (as long as you can find your account), and Facebook typically reviews these within 1-2 business days. 

Once approved, Facebook will send you a Login Link to reset your password, at which point you can change your account contact and security settings back. 

Step 2: Report your Facebook account as compromised 

You can report your Facebook account as compromised here: Facebook will prompt you to answer a few questions to confirm why you suspect your account has been compromised:

Facebook will then take you through a few steps to change your password and make sure any recent account changes came from you: 

  • Once verified from the previous password, Facebook will then take you through a process to take back control of your account. This process will include uploading your photo ID to confirm that you are indeed the person requesting these changes. 

Signs of a hacked Facebook account 

If you haven’t logged in into Facebook in a while, you may not know your account has been hacked. Here are some of the signs to watch out for:  

  1. You can’t login to your Facebook account. 
  1. You received a “password reset” email that you didn’t submit. 
  1. Your friends have told you they’ve seen strange posts or DMs from your account, most likely with a  link. 
  1. You noticed changes on your profile that you didn’t add. 
  1. People have received friend requests from you that you didn’t send. 

If you notice activity that you didn’t approve or comments you didn’t post, chances are your account has been hacked. 

Things to keep in mind before your start to recover your Facebook account: 

1. If you’ve been hacked once, you’re at higher risk of another attackYou are five times more likely to be compromised in the future if you’ve been hacked in the past. Your other accounts may be at risk, including valuable assets like your primary email account, online banking, credit accounts, crypto wallet, and more. It’s important to protect yourself from further damage, so make sure you change any other passwords that are the same as your Facebook one. 

2. Enable 24/7 online account monitoring and insurance 

Whether you recover your account, or simply want to secure other existing accounts, you should enable 24/7 monitoring for your online accounts and credit report to ensure your security moving forward. Malwarebytes offers the monitoring you need via our identity theft protection.  

3. Protect your inner circle 

Hackers move fast by using your account to reach out to your inner circle, posing as you. Warn them you’ve had your account hacked and make sure they know not to click on any links your accounts sends to them. Tell them about Malwarebytes’ Digital Footprint Scan which checks what personal information of someone’s has been exposed online. Scammers will use sensitive information and passwords they find on the dark web to hack into accounts.  

4. Account restoration may take time 

We’ll share multiple recovery methods with you, which all vary in effectiveness and time taken. If you put in the effort with the various recovery methods, this could greatly increase your likelihood of account recovery and reduce the overall resolution time. 

Why do social media accounts get hacked? 

Hackers don’t just target celebrity or VIP accounts, they are indiscriminate. But what do the hackers want to do with the account? And why is it so difficult to contact Facebook support about this issue?  Some hackers use Facebook accounts to spread spam or propaganda, but most use them to make money. Since the account has your name on it, your followers are more likely to believe anything the hackers post, comment on, or send in a direct message.  

Hackers also like to hold accounts to ransom, preying on the desperation people may feel after getting locked out of their accounts, and convincing them to send money in exchange for getting the account back.  

Spoiler alert: They never give it back! So what can we do to protect ourselves? 

One of the main ways people have their accounts compromised is through exposed passwords. There are millions of leaked passwords sold on the dark web every day (or even offered for free). If you use the same email address and password combination across other sites, you massively increase the risk of your account being breached. So make sure you use unique passwords for every website. 

Common Facebook scams 

  • Phishing messages. These could come from email, text, DM, etc. but they all have the same idea. The messages usually ask you to verify or check something by clicking on a suspicious link or sending the hacker a code. From here, you are prompted to enter your Facebook login credentials or personal information like your bank/credit card details. 
  • Giveaways. You’re enticed to enter a drawing for a fantastic prize, but required to provide personal information or pay money in order to claim your winnings. 
  • Fake investment opportunities. Posts, such as ads for Venmo, CashApp or Bitcoin claim you can  earn a massive payout after investing just a small sum of money. 
  • Brand collaboration requests. An up-and-coming brand offers to pay you for promoting their products. You’re asked for financial information so they can send you a paycheck, but in reality they’re just trying to breach your bank account. 
  • Bogus job offers. Scammers seek personal information from you (ex: your home address, driver’s license info, banking credentials, etc.) as part of their interview or “hiring” process. 

Prevent your Facebook account from being hacked in the future 

There are several preventative measures you can take to ensure that your Facebook isn’t hacked in the future. 

  • Enable two-factor authentication (2FA). You can do this directly from your FB account settings. Ideally, use an authentication app rather than a code sent by SMS (this can prevent a hacker from intercepting a recovery code sent to your phone).
    • Choose the hamburger menu (three lines) and scroll to Settings & Privacy > Privacy shortcuts > Use two-factor authentication. Make sure you make a note of your backup codes or recovery key. 
  • Change your password to something strong and unique. If you use a password for multiple online accounts, and one of the other accounts get breached, this puts your Facebook account at risk. So choose different passwords for every single online account.
    • Choose the hamburger menu (three lines) and scroll to Settings & Privacy > Privacy shortcuts > Change your password 
  • Check if other devices/locations are signed in to your account. If you see a location that you don’t recognize, immediately sign it out, change your password, and activate 2FA.  
    • Choose the hamburger menu (three lines) and scroll to Settings & Privacy > See more in Accounts Center > Password and Security > Where you’re logged in 
  • Make sure your contact information is up to date  
    • Choose the hamburger menu (three lines) and scroll to Settings & Privacy > See more in Accounts Center > Personal details > Contact info 
  • Secure your email account. This might be obvious, but if a hacker has access to your email, they can easily hack into any account associated with it. Be sure to enable 2FA and change your password so it is both strong and different from your Facebook one. 

Things to remember

It’s going to take time to recover your Facebook account, so keep this in mind from the beginning. Unfortunately, there’s no magical solution to get your account back overnight (at least not yet), so if you come across people or services claiming they can help you for a hefty one-time fee,  proceed with extreme caution.  

Help others learn from your experience  

Sadly, Facebook account recovery doesn’t always have a happy ending. That said, the best thing you can do is educate people around you. Tell them about your experience so it doesn’t happen to them. If you’ve been hacked, immediately warnyour followers to prevent anyone else being compromised.