Have You Been Hacked Or Just Cloned?
So scary to think that your Facebook account or anything else has been hacked. It can be terrifying to think that someone has access to your information and cause problems for you. I’m writing this post to set your mind at ease on at least one Facebook issue where people only think that they have been hacked but really have just been cloned. In this post I will explain the difference between having your Facebook account hacked and having it cloned. I will walk you through the steps of how to prevent it from happening in the first place and steps that you and your friends can take if it has already happened to you.
Please don’t pay anyone a lot of money to fix this problem for you. It is not necessary. Follow the steps below and you will be good. If you have trouble following the steps and need assistance please contact me and I will do it for you and only charge you $10. I have to charge as I will be overwhelmed with requests that will take hours of my time if I don’t lol. It is happening far too frequently frequently now.
How Do I Know If I was Hacked?
Actually being hacked is the scary one. This would mean that someone has access to your Facebook account and can take it over and actually post as you. The only thing you can really do is to change your password to lock them out. To prevent it from happening make sure that your password isn’t easy to guess. Also avoid putting your private information out there. This happens frequently with all those posts where you state things like your favourite colour, your maiden name, where you went to school, etc. They sound like fun but they were likely originally started by someone looking to get your security answers. Think about all the times you have been asked to provide answers to questions to set up secure accounts by your bank or credit card company for instance.
How Do I Know If I Was Cloned?
Being cloned is not as bad as being hacked and it is easily preventable (see steps below). Scammers will access your public information and download your profile and cover pictures and use them to create an account using your name. Then they look at your friends list and send friend requests to all of your friends. I’m guessing that the goal is to be able to see more information about your friends so that they can use it to scam someone. Most people will believe something is legit if they think the information came from a friend, especially if it is a close friend. Next I am going to show you how to prevent it from happening.
How To Prevent Being Cloned (Steps For Laptop or PC)
The steps below show pictures on how to hide your friends list from Public and just allow the people you want to see the list have access to it. The pictures are for a laptop or PC and I have added the steps for your phone or tablet. I will try and add pictures later when I have more time.
The first step to prevent being cloned is to click on your profile picture at the top left of your Facebook feed to open the menu. Next click on Settings & Privacy.
On your phone or other mobile device you still click on your profile picture.
Step 2 Click on Settings.
On your phone this is the little gear icon beside Menu.
Step 3 is to click on Privacy from the menu on the left hand side. You may have to scroll down a little bit if you can’t see it. This will show you the Privacy Settings and Tools page. It would be a good idea to scroll down and examine all of the settings on this page to ensure that they are set the way you want them to be. Mine is set so that everyone can send me friend requests but if I’m getting a ton of unwanted requests I could change this setting from Everyone to Friends of Friends instead by clicking on the Edit link.
On your phone scroll down to the Audience and visibility section.
Step 4 scroll down the Privacy Settings and Tools Page to the section Titled How people find and contact you. The second option in this section is Who can see your friends list? Click on the Edit link beside this option.
On your phone click on How people find and contact you and then click on Who can see your friends list.
The final step is to click on the little drop down box under who can see your friends list and change it. The default is Public. I changed mine to Friends but there are other options you can select as well. I set mine to friends because I’m fairly picky who I accept friend requests from and want my friends to be able to send requests to other friends that they also know.
It is similar on your phone but instead of a drop down there is a list and you simply select the option you want.
Why Does Hiding Your Friends List Work?
Hiding your friends list from Everyone or Public works because if scammers can’t see who your friends are they can’t send them friend requests. There is not a lot of sense in them cloning you if they can’t do this. They still can of course but there is no real point. I hid my friends list and my husband’s friend list over 2 years ago and neither one of us has been cloned since but it happened more than once before that. Let’s put these scammers out of business at least in this one area by following the steps above.
What To Do If You Or Your Friend Has Already Been Cloned
If you receive a friend request from someone who is already a friend chances are it is a scammer who has cloned your friend. If you hear from your friends that they have received a friend request that you didn’t send then you know you’ve been cloned. There is no need to panic. Remember you have been cloned NOT hacked. There is a big difference. Instead follow these steps to get Facebook to take it down. If you do this and a least a few of your friends follow these steps then Facebook will take it down very quickly. This is an automated process by Facebook and trying to contact them by other methods can only lead to frustration.
Steps To Get The Fake Or Cloned Profile Taken Down
If you receive a friend request that you know is not from your friend you should do the following to help your friend get the fake/cloned profile taken down quickly. If your friends tell you that they have received a “fake” friend request from you the steps are very similar but to make things easier ask your friend to copy the link in the address bar of the “fake” profile and send it to you so that you can go to the profile and follow the same steps.
- Click on the friend request as IF you were going to accept it but do NOT accept it.
- On a laptop or PC look for the 3 little dots to the right of the menu and click on it. This step is the same on your phone or mobile device.
- Scroll down the list displayed until you see Find support or report and click on the link. On your phone select Report Profile. The remaining steps are the same.
- Select Pretending to be someone.
- If they are pretending to be you then select Me. If they are pretending to be your friend then select A friend.
- If you have selected Me click on Submit. If it is your friend you will be asked which friend and you will need to start typing the name of your friend until you can select them from the list.