For many small operators, Facebook for Business has become a relatively cost-effective and efficient way of communicating with their clients and their wider networks.
Due to the vagaries of the online universe, however, and the hacking skills of some of the bad apples that exist within it, any kind of page, content, social media platform or online account is always at risk of being compromised.
When a critical part of your business’s digital presence, such as Facebook page, is breached, quick action, then prevention is key – it's just a matter of detecting the breach first!
Owen Williams, a former software and infrastructure engineer, says common signs that your account has been compromised include automated likes/favourites/follows/unfollows or friend requests, private messages being posted to your friends, status updates that you didn’t make, and changes to the profile or pictures on your account.
“Some attacks – known as phishing attempts – impersonate a website after you click on a compromised link (such as in a direct message or chat) and ask you to log in using a fake login screen,” he explains in an article on The Next Web.
“Once this is done, attackers are able to log in as you on the social network and change your information or share messages from your account.”
If you do detect a breach, renowned IT pundit Mat Honan says you should immediately change the password on the affected service, and any others that use the same or similar password.
“And, really, don’t reuse passwords,” he says in an article on the Wired website.
“You should be changing your passwords periodically anyway as a part of routine maintenance. But if you’ve just been hacked, it’s now more urgent. This is especially true if you reuse passwords, or use schemes that result in similar passwords.
Most of the major online services have tools in place to help you get your account back after it has been taken over by someone else, but it can take time and damage can already be done.
George Photios, founder and director of Sydney-based digital agency G Squared, explains that once hackers have gained access to your Facebook account, the first thing they do is change any other administrators' access rights, keeping themselves as the sole administrator of the account.
“Essentially, they’ve locked you out. The reality is that once your page has been hacked there is very little you can do directly,” he says in an article on Mumbrella.
“The first thing to do is contact your Facebook account manager (if you have one) and tell them what’s happened. They then submit the request to Facebook’s support office in the United States where it can be rectified.
“It is also vital that all Facebook admins change their Facebook password.”
“Once Facebook has received your request, they’ll reinstate you as an administrator, but won’t necessarily remove the hacker as an admin of the page. So, the final thing to do is go into your page’s admin roles and remove any admins you don’t remember adding.”