Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Someone Hacked My Facebook Page, Now What Do I Do?, 99 cent Ebook, Mystery Thriller Week

Has your Facebook page been hacked?
This wasn't fiction! My Facebook account had been hacked! My blood ran cold. Chills coursed through my body. What did the hacker get? Why would he pick me? Friends upon friends warned me my account was hacked. How thoughtful of them, but the only advice I received on how to stop it was to change my password.

Have you had this experience? I found help on the Facebook Community Help page from Peter Lawrence on what to do to prevent this from happening again. 

What is it?
Your account isn't hacked, it's a trick known as account cloning.
Someone creates a copy of your account by using your name and photos which they copied from your account. They block you so you can't see them or report them. Then they start sending friend requests to your friends.

Why does anyone do such a mean thing?
The people doing this are scammers. Once your friends accept the requests, thinking it's you, the scammer will try to con them out of money using your identity to gain their trust.

What do I do?
Post on your timeline that you have been "hacked", actually cloned. Tell your friends not to friend you. Post this several times during the day and over the next few days. You may want to message friends in case they miss the post or your post doesn't show on their timeline. 

Check to make sure your friends list is set to private, not public. If possible, set photos to private too.

The advice did not say to change your password since the scammer is not really "into" your account. But I think frequent password changes on all types of sites help to make it more difficult for the bad guys to break into your data. 
Store passwords in a safe place, a vault
I hate to keep track of all those passwords, so I use Last Pass. You only have to remember one password to get into your "vault" to find the passwords stored there. Yes, I know. I wonder if a scammer can figure out my master password to get in or a hacker could break into the Last Pass site. But you know, you can't spin your wheels about what may happen. If you research Last Pass, they have a great record of keeping information safe. There are other sites too. If you would like to recommend  a site for storing passwords, please leave the name in the comments below. Last Pass is a free service and they offer a premium service too.

Password Protection
I love this analogy in PCMag--"Passwords are like underwear. You should change them often (okay, maybe not every day). Don't share them. Don't leave them out for others to see (no sticky notes!). Oh, and they should be sexy. Wait, sorry, I mean they should be mysterious. In other words, make your password a total mystery to others."

This article has other reminders about passwords too like don't use common words, especially NOT "password" for your password, no birthdays or anniversaries dates in the password, no pet names, kids names, etc. Nothing related to your life. Get creative and make up something that's way out there. Even spell the word backwards!! 

Check out the article at PCMag for more help with protecting passwords.
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Spreading some love....

February is the month of love, so my publisher, Books We Love, is spreading love this month by offering my romantic suspense e-book, Dangerous Sanctuary, for only 99 cents! The discounted price starts this Sunday, February 12 and continues through Saturday, February 18. Schedule a reminder on your calendar.
Books We Love Author J.Q. Rose
If you have read Dangerous Sanctuary, can you please take a minute to leave a review on my amazon page? Reviews really create more "buzz" on amazon and allow readers to find the book. Thank you!

I'm looking forward to Mystery Thriller Week February 12-22. Lots of prizes, great mysteries, and interviews with authors all over cyberspace. I hope you'l join in on the fun.
Mystery Thriller Week
February 12-22, 2017


Juneta key said...

Sorry that happened to you. No have not had happened to me but I have had friends like you who have. I had one contact me and in messenger and I was chatting with them, then they said something out of character. I immediately blocked them, defriended and told my friend on the real page someone had hacked them or as you said cloned them.

Juneta @ Writer's Gambit

Marsha said...

Great post, JQ. I shared. I'm fortunate to not have had this happen to me, but I've seen it for many of my friends. Loved the password suggestions. I keep my on pages (emphasis on the plural) in a drawer next to my computer. Not smart if someone breaks in to our house. I may check into the Vault thing. I like only having to remember one password. :)

J.Q. Rose said...

Juneta--I've had a scammer pretend he was my friend too. I answered and realized it wasn't my friend after his next question. Really scary. Sounds like you took the right steps to thwart the scoundrel.

J.Q. Rose said...

Hi Marsha. Thanks and thank you for sharing. You are so good about that. I think by having the vault, I am more likely to change passwords more frequently. I don't have to get out my spiral bound notebook and find the site and scratch off the old one and add the new one!!!

Helena Fairfax said...

Hi Janet,
I'm so sorry that happened to you. Thanks for all the advice. I didn't realise people were "cloning" the account, rather than hacking it. It's happened a few times that I've had friend requests, and I've realised I'm already friends with the person. I always block the "duplicate" and try and inform the friend.
Another author friend had her account "porn bombed". That is really scary. She explains what happened in this article, and what you can do to stop it happening.
I followed all her advice and changed my settings.
That's great about your book promo. I'll share it tomorrow!

J.Q. Rose said...

Hi Helena, You're welcome for the advice. I think we are all smarter now about the cloning. Never heard of porn bombed. Thanks for the article.

*****Please note my publisher has put my book up for FREE on Feb 13 and 14, 18, 19, 20. Hope you get this before you put it out on your social media. !! Some rule from amazon wouldn't allow her to put it up for 99 cents. But FREE is better for readers anyway!!

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