How To Remove Facebook Virus Or Malware And Recover Your Profile
Both malware and applications attempt to fool your friends, colleagues and even complete strangers to fall for their sting and get them to click on the link that you (or, at least, your account) will send them.
How Malware and Facebook Applications Use Facebook to Spread:
- Automatic wall posts – applications will post stories with links on your wall. These stories are perfect click-bait, designed to be as interesting as possible, perhaps even closely related to current events. Once your friends click on the link they will discover a completely different story, with a potential infection at its end.
- Messages – Some malware will contact your friends automatically by opening the chat window and posting a link. As people often share interesting links in private messages, some will click on it, believing that it is a genuine link that came from you.
- Friend Requests – Some malware will send friend requests to random people, in hopes of increasing their “audience” when posting malicious links.
How To Remove Facebook Virus And Recover Your Profile
To detect whether you have a Facebook virus, either malware or application, check your activity. If you see any unfamiliar posts, your Facebook page has likely been breached (or you really did drink too much at the bar last night…). Anything suspicious – friend requests, private messages, etc., should be a sign to take measures to protect yourself and the people you know.
If you suspect your account was hacked and got infected with a virus or malware, follow these steps:
STEP 1: Remove Suspicious Applications
Review your apps and app permissions and delete any suspicious applications. To do this, go to your Facebook “Settings” page:
Select “Apps” from the left side navigation bar.
Hover over any app and two icons will appear: a pencil to edit the app permissions, and an “x” to remove the app.
If you don’t see any suspicious applications in the list, your computer may possibly be infected by malware (which may affect more than just Facebook).
STEP 2: Change Your Password
To be on the safe side, change your password. Go to your “General Settings” page to access this. Choose a complex password that includes lowercase letters, uppercase letters, and at least one number. Add a special character like a question mark or exclamation point. Avoid dictionary words. Your new password should be at least eight characters long.
This step will not help if malware has indeed hacked your account, as the malware can steal your new credentials again. However, this is a safe practice that should be taken at regular intervals, especially when you have a reason for concern.
STEP 3: Check Active Sessions
Is the suspicious activity coming from an active hacker or from malware? You can find this out by using a Facebook tool on the Facebook “Security” page. Here, you can see which devices are logged into your account. If there is an unfamiliar device listed, there may be a hacker logged in to your account.
From the “Settings” page, select “Security” from the left-side menu.
Then, click “Where You’re Logged In.”
Click “End Activity” if you see an unfamiliar device listed.
Keep in mind that this tool, while convenient, doesn’t always provide an accurate depiction of who is currently logged into your account and clicking “End Activity” alone won’t protect your account. Yet, this can give you an indication if the problem is malware or a hacker and give you some access to solving the problem if it is a hacker.
STEP 4: Active Login Approval
The login approval tool can help protect your Facebook account from hackers, although it is not effective against malicious apps. This tool is like Facebook’s version of two-factor authentication. To use this feature, go to your Facebook “Security” page. Under “Login Approvals,” check the box to require a security code to access your account from unknown browsers. With this feature enabled, Facebook will send a message to your phone requiring you to approve new devices that attempt to log into your account.
If you find using Login Approvals a hassle, consider activating Login Notifications. You’ll find this option under “Login Alerts” on the same “Security” page. With this feature enabled, Facebook will send you an alert when an unfamiliar device attempts to log into your account.
Step 5: Install an Anti-Virus Program
As activity on your Facebook account may have been altered by malware, we recommend downloading an anti-virus program and running a virus scan. Use a trusted and popular brand for best effect.
Step 6: Use Preventive Measures
The best way to stay protected is by taking preventive measures. Do not click on any suspicious links on Facebook. Not every link or post you encounter will be genuine so remain aware. If a friend sends you a link for no reason – ask about it. If you identify a suspicious link on a friend’s wall, don’t click. Avoid it – and let them and their friends know. Infections are not inevitable if we pay attention and help each other.