You may have received a questionable Facebook message in the past few days that claims someone has cloned your account and is sending out friend requests.
It seems that the message is more of people copy and pasting as a precaution than it is an actual hack.
If you think, ‘oh great, someone’s pretending to be me,’ search Facebook for different variations of your name and look for your photos. That’s one way to determine if your profile has been cloned.
If you do find a imitation profile, report it to Facebook right away.
KX News spoke with an Information Technology expert to see what’s up with the chain-mail message warning and how you can avoid hacks or scams.
“The one that I’ve been seeing a half dozen times this weekend alone, is definitely a hoax,” Jeff Feller, Information Technology Engineer at Bitz PC said.
He’s referring to the Facebook message (view photo or video above) that is telling people to check their accounts and then spread the word.
“It’s irrelevant,” he said. “They’re not asking for any information, they’re not saying click the link nothing like that. I’d say don’t worry about it, just ignore it.”
He said in this case, it’s seems that people are just copying and pasting a message regardless of if they actually received a phony friend request or not.
So it’s not a hack, but that doesn’t mean that you’re not at risk. Hacking can happen at any time.
“If my friends are starting to receive messages from my actual account, saying click this link or do whatever, that’s a legitimate hack,” explained Feller.
If someone were actually hacking you, your Facebook friends would receive a message FROM your account, not sending one TO you, unless it’s their account that was hacked.
Another form of hacking would be if someone cloned your account and tried to seek information from your friends.
“If someone created a new profile and is sending friend requests to your friends, they might be trying to get your friends to friend you, then they might ask you questions or tell you to click this link or ‘send me money I’m in trouble,’ that’s when you’ve got to worry about it,” Feller added.
If you think you’ve been hacked, change your password right away.
You can also enable two-step authentication.
Go to settings, security and login, and click ‘set up two-factor authentication.’
There’s also a way to prevent your profile from being cloned.
“One extra step you could take to cut down on profile cloning is to go into your privacy settings, you can actually make it so that only your friends can see your friend list,” Feller advised. “That way a stranger can’t grab your picture and see all your friends because that’s how they’d know who to send friend requests to.”
If you’re concerned about being hacked, you could also change your password every couple of weeks or months.
Use strong passwords that include capital and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols if you can.