Only last week Facebook was in the news after it took steps to secure the 50 million affected accounts following a data breach. If your account was affected you will have been automatically logged out of the service and required to log in again. Now with a new week comes a new scam, except this time in a bizarre turn of events no-one has actually been hacked – they just think they have.
Users are spreading this message or a similar message: “Heads-up! Almost every account is being cloned. Your picture and your name are used to create a new facebook account (they don’t need your password to do this this). They want your friends to add them to their Facebook account. Your friends will think that it’s you and accept your request. From that point on they can write what they want under your name. I have NO plans to open a new account. Please DO NOT accept a 2nd friend request from “me”. please forward to all your contacts Please pass it on!”
Whether or not your account has *actually* been hacked, the best thing you can do to protect yourself is to change your password and make sure you are logged out on any other devices that may be signed into your account. Here’s how to achieve those things.
Change your Facebook password
Laptop or PC browser
To change your Facebook password in a desktop browser click the downward arrow icon at the top right and choose Settings.
Select the Security and Login tab, then click Edit next to Change your password.
You’ll be required to enter your old password, then enter a new password, and then confirm that new password before clicking Save changes.
On an Android phone or tablet open the Facebook app and tap the three lines icon at the top right.
Scroll down to and select Settings and Privacy, then Settings. You’ll find Security and login in the Security section – click this, then choose Change password under Login.
As on the desktop account you’ll need to enter your old password, new password, confirm your new password and then select Save changes.
iPhone or iPad
On an iOS device the process is almost identical to Android, except the three lines icon is at the bottom right rather than top right. Tap this, then choose Settings and Privacy > Settings > Security and login > Change password.
Enter your old password, your new password twice, then tap Save changes.
How to log out of Facebook on other devices
On writing this tutorial I discovered my Facebook account was being accessed by a device in Leeds. Having not visited Yorkshire in 20 years, it’s a good job I checked.
Fortunately it’s easy to log out on any devices you don’t recognise, and we recommend then changing your password following the above instructions to be on the safe side.
Laptop or PC browser
Click the downward arrow icon at the top right of the page and choose Settings, then select the Security and login Tab. Toward the top of the page you’ll see a section called ‘Where you’re logged in’, followed by a list of all recent sessions.
If there are any you don’t recognise you can tap on the three dots to the side of the entry and choose ‘Not you’, then follow the steps to take appropriate action. This includes changing your password and checking any recent updates on your profile, new comments and new liked pages to ensure they were actually you.
Alternatively, scroll to the bottom of the list and choose ‘Log out of all sessions’.
The process is almost exactly the same on the Facebook app for Android: tap the three lines icon at top right and choose Settings and Privacy > Settings > Security and Login. Toward the top of the page is a ‘Where you’re logged in’ section – click See more below this to view the full list. You can take appropriate action against individual results by tapping the three dots to the side of an entry and choose ‘Not you’, or scroll down to the bottom and choose ‘Log out of all sessions’.
iPhone or iPad
The only difference here between the mobile app for iOS and Android (above) is the fact you access the settings by the three lines icon at the bottom right rather than the top right. Thereafter the process is the same, so choose Settings and Privacy > Settings > Security and Login > Where you’re logged in > See more > Log out of all sessions.