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How to avoid being hacked on Facebook

 IN the recent past, MWINGI TIMES has received reports of Facebook users complaining identity theft. Usually, their accounts are taken over by hackers who change passwords and go on to solicit for money from their contacts.

An illustration of the secretive world of hackers. MWINGI TIMES/File

This identity theft has led to many issuing warnings to avert the economic losses arising from fake solicitation of money from users.

From our records, we understand that the perpetrators of this crime may be known to both the victims and the friends. Some shamelessly negotiate for the minimum amount to be sent if the one they had requested was not immediately available.

 A case in point is where a hacker asked our reporter who is a friend to one of the victims to send KSh500. When he feigned that it could be a cybersecurity breach, he said the money was not available. The hacker desperately went on to beg for whatever money the reporter had to be sent to them. Our reporter never sent the hacker any money.

A conversation our reporter had with a hacker on Facebook. He did not succeed in swindling us. MWINGI TIMES

The Communications Authority reported last year that cyber attacks increased by 37.2 per cent between January and March when 28.2 million cyber threats were detected.

Below are some ways to make sure that your Facebook account is hack-proof.

For starters, have a strong password that cannot be guessed easily by a cyber-criminal.  Avoid simple passwords such as writing your maiden name, home town or date of birth as your Facebook password.

A strong password has a mix of numerical and both upper- and lower-case alphabets. Throw in some symbols like !&?* to confuse the hacker more. Space out the password to avoid aligning it in any particular order.

Another way to seal your Facebook account from hacks is by use of two factor authentication. This is where after a password is keyed in, the user is supposed to get a log in code sent to the phone number or email associated with the account.

If the hacker gets to know the password, they will not go past two factor authentication stage since they have no clue or access to private address of the user.

Minimize use of public Wi-Fi. Avoid free things. “Free” things are not free. It is in some of these public internet provisions that users’ passwords and other log in credentials are stolen by admins and/or other malicious users.

Use genuine Facebook application. Update it to the latest version that is able to handle some of the security challenges posed by today’s hackers.


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