Social media means big business for marketing firms. It should come as no surprise that some slimy individuals want to exploit that for their own gain. No, I’m not talking about Zuckerberg and his crew- what they’re doing might be unethical, but it’s technically legal. Not so with all of the criminal elements that have set up shop on social media websites. Their motives range from the sale of personal information, to outright identity theft.

Either way, you don’t want them anywhere near your account.

Thing is, they’ve very, very good at tossing together malware that exploits this weakness or that flaw in Facebook’s design. Sometimes, it’s inevitable that you’ll come down with a virus. Maybe you clicked a bad link, or maybe you installed an app you shouldn’t have- whatever the reason, you’re now infected.

Don’t panic. There’s something that can be done.

How to Tell if You’re Infected

Ask your friends if they’ve noticed any strange links from you recently. Look at your list of installed apps, and see what you’ve got. Do you recognize all of them? Are they all from reputable sources? Think about the links you’ve accessed, as well- were they all legitimate? Ultimately, the only way to tell for certain if you’re infected is if you lose access to your account- and by then, it’s usually too late.

What to do if You Suspect an Infection

  1. Change your password immediately. Go to Account Settings (click the arrow in the upper right hand corner next to “Home”) and click the “edit” link next to your password.
  2. Check your list of installed apps. Do you trust all of them? Which ones have you installed recently? Are there any there you don’t recognize? As a general rule, if you’re not sure you can trust an app…remove it, because you probably can’t.
  3. Remove any apps you aren’t sure you can trust. Go to Account settings->Apps, and click the edit link next to any app you want to remove. From there, it’s pretty simple: de-authorize it.
  4. If you lose access to your account, or you’re worried it’s still compromised(if you change your password and remove any suspicious apps, you should be fine), contact Facebook support. They might be able to help you….or you might simply lose your account.

Additional Security Settings that Might Help

If you’re really concerned about your Facebook account’s security, set up login notification, login approval and Recognized devices if you’re paranoid. This ensures that, if a hacker tries to gain access to your Facebook account and access it remotely, not only will the effort fail- you’ll be notified of it. Anyone trying to log in to your account from a system other than your own will require e-mail approval.
Image Credits:  RefurbishedLaptops