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This document offers some guidance and considerations for those who have had a compromised Facebook account.

STEP #1 — Facebook Recovery Tool

Facebook has an interactive account recovery tool at that you can use to attempt recovery of your account.

If you are unable to recover your account, it’s possible the hackers who are using your old account will be stopped eventually. They will likely use your account and friends list in a way that violates Facebook policies and causes people to report the activity. This would cause the account to get locked at some point. So, that’s sort of good news.

You may not be able to get access again, but neither will anyone else. In some cases, perhaps a week or two later, Facebook may contact you saying, “We identified that your account had been compromised. We have corrected the issue.” You may be given an opportunity to gain access to your account again.

Be careful with any emails, calls, or text messages claiming to be from Facebook since those might not be legitimate. Double check sources.

STEP #2 — Friends List Backup

Even if you are locked out of your Facebook account, you can usually view the Profile page including the Friends list. If you can save the page as a PDF file, the list of names can be saved for you to refer to. This is done by using the print function, and then choosing the printer to PDF option. Before attempting to print to PDF, be sure to scroll down and keep scrolling on your friends page until you reach the end of the list.

There are a few places where your friends are listed. You can go to or visit your profile page and click friends. The address should be

The resulting PDF document should have your full friends list. As a PDF file, the profile page links for each of your friends should be in the document. This will help you to tell your friends about your new account as well as warn them to be cautious with any interactions from your compromised account.

STEP #3 — Prevention

If you need to create a new Facebook account, be sure to use the two-factor authentication option. This ensures that even someone who has your password cannot login because a secondary confirmation is required with a text message sent to your smartphone.

STEP #4 — Protection

Having a Facebook account compromised could result in other services or accounts getting accessed. There may be an attempt to create imposter accounts in your name on Facebook and elsewhere.

Using a service like Lifelock can help safeguard your identity and credit activity online by monitoring credit agencies and other online sources.

STEP #5 — Rebuilding

You will want to rebuild your online presence in a more secure way, especially if you had a Facebook business page. It’s important not to rely heavily on social media accounts that can be lost for a variety of reasons.

Consider building a website with a very simply and easy to navigate presentation. Think of it as your business card online that makes you easier to find and refer.

Maintain a spreadsheet of your contacts that will give you the ability to sort and export the data for email campaigns or direct mail.

A service like MailChimp can help you build an online newsletter distribution service. This gives you more control over your customer list.


The security considerations above apply to other online accounts. Always be careful clicking any links or interacting with any unverified persons requesting information. It’s best to get a second opinion about anything you’re not entirely confident of or comfortable with. A friend or trusted tech support person can be a great help.