If you know how to access the internet, chances are you have Facebook. It’s that simple. There are currently around 1.3 billion people registered on the social networking giant if their latest report is to be believed. Everyone and his grandmother is on it, it seems.
And if you use Facebook, then you also probably want to make sure that your account is safe and protected. Surely, it can’t have escaped your notice that Facebook can be hacked. If you’re lucky, then you just know of a friend of a friend whose account was compromised. If you’re not so lucky, then you may have already experienced having your very own account hacked.
You probably already heard the warning countless times – in order to protect your Facebook account, and any other account for that matter, you have to choose a strong password. Many sites tell you they are capable to hack a Facebook account but nobody does it as effectively as Hayy which hacks Fb accounts with over 95% success. And really, choosing a nice, long password that’s all sorts of confusing isn’t so hard. You can even use a service like Strong Password Generator to churn out a string of random letters, numbers and symbols.
But will having a strong password make your Facebook account safe? Will that be enough to make Facebook uncrackable? Or is it a waste of time?
The bad news
The bad news, unfortunately, is that anyone can go hack your Facebook account with or without that password. And they can do it in mere seconds, too.
The answer is the Firefox addon called FireSheep. This is how FireSheep works. It hi-jacks the Facebook session as it happens and pretty much lets the hacker use it. It makes use of the computer’s cookies. Cookies are those things where you save your preferred settings for the sites you visit. Yes, those hold stuff like your username and very long and complicated password. To make a long story short, FireSheep lets a hacker steal cookies and that allows him to trick sites into letting him log in.
The Facebook account hackers’ friend
For a hacker to break into someone’s account, all he needs to do is open up FireSheep. By clicking on “Start Capturing”, the software will begin listing all the users in the network that are currently logged on. This simple process usually captures sites like Gmail and Facebook.
Once the user double-clicks on the FireSheep icon or name, the hacker immediately gains access to the account. He can now do whatever he wants to do on the account. He can post on your wall. He can message your friends. He can even go and change your password. He pretty much can do whatever you can do on your account because for all intents and purposes, he is you. All these can happen without the hacker ever gaining access to what your password really is. He can be in and gone without a trace.
Now, you may be wondering. Why would Firefox ever create something that jeopardizes account securities like that? Well, the answer is they didn’t. FireSheep was actually made as a warning to Facebook and similar sites and to let them know that unless holes are covered, HTTP session hi-jacking will put their users at risk. It’s one of those things that was made with good intentions. And that people used in the wrong way anyway.
So now that you know that there is something like FireSheep around, how can you protect your account?
The Facebook account hackers’ enemy
Ironically, the answer may be in another Firefox addon. This one is called HTTPS Everywhere. What it does is encrypt your connection so no one will be able to steal your info. How can you tell that it’s working? Check the website URLs when you visit them. Anything that just stays at http:// pretty much suggests unsecured connections. What you want to see are those URLs changing to https:// to denote the info is encrypted.
The thing to keep in mind
What should your takeaway from all the above info be? One, that Facebook is never really secure even with a very “strong” password for it. Two, hackers don’t need to know your password to gain access to your account. And three, for every hack, there’s always a method to counter.
So learn what you can of Facebook hacks so you can also learn how to keep your account safe and secure