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Hacking can damage a person’s reputation and cost them thousands of dollars in lost advertising revenue. This was the case for Dale Berry, the owner of a preschool English academy in Japan who got his Facebook account compromised by scammers. Hackers used his account to display fraudulent ads, draining the business of his owner and destroying his reputation.

Hackers initially target those who have weak passwords, such as “qwerty” or “password.” They then impersonate a friend to request a code that will reset the password. They then take advantage of the security feature that allows people to add friends as trusted contacts in the event they lose their password, and can ask those trusted friends to supply the one-time password required to gain access to the account.

Purchase of stolen login information is another way hackers gain access. Recently an inventory of 26 million Amazon, LinkedIn, and Facebook passwords were discovered available on the dark web. A large portion of them were leaked through custom Trojan malware that infiltrated millions of Windows-based devices between the year 2018 through 2020.

Users can stay safe from these attacks if always make sure that the address bar of their browser says Facebook and not a different website. They should also make sure to use an account password that includes numbers spaces, letters, and spaces and never reuse the same password for other social media or email accounts. Additionally they should monitor their activity notifications frequently. Twitter for instance sends out notifications when users sign into Twitter from a new place or device.