WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) – Michelle Hackman’s personal Facebook page was hacked earlier this month. That was worrying enough, but it became a more serious problem when the hackers took over the side of her family business and locked her out so she couldn’t communicate with her own customers.
Facebook is notoriously hard to reach when you run into a problem with your account. There is no customer service phone number available to call someone. Hackman tried asking Facebook for help online but was out of luck in solving their problem. WECT reached out to Facebook’s press office on Hackman’s behalf but received no response.
They got a hiatus when someone who watched our story last week knew someone who worked on Facebook and offered to connect the Hackmans so they could regain control of their social media page. The Hackmans were grateful for the help. Now that they have access to their accounts again, they wanted to share what they learned in case this ever happens to you.
First and foremost, back up your information from your Facebook Page. If you lose access to your account, you may not be able to come back in. The Hackmans learned the hard way that they didn’t have a full list of all of their followers’ contact information until after the hack that locked them out of their account. Michelle also lost pictures and videos documenting her daughters’ childhoods for 12 years, posted on her personal Facebook page, which she feared could be lost forever.
“What I took the most with me, and maybe I should have already, and I was naive… time. I wasn’t very good at it, and now I’ve put the extra security measures in place. There are hackers all over the world. We believe the hackers on our account are not in the United States and you are vulnerable, ”Hackman said.
Part of Hackman’s problems was that the hackers engaged in illegal activity after taking over their accounts. When she attempted to appeal this decision or to set up a new account, her phone number and email address were still flagged as suspicious on the Facebook system.
Hackman advises setting up a new email address to go through the appeal process. She also suggests having multiple admins on a Facebook business page so that another admin can still access the account if an admin is hacked and locked out of Facebook.
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