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The Consequences To Victims Of Facebook Hacking Are Severe Yet Reclaiming Accounts Seems Impossible

With Facebook’s user database touching around 2.89 billion and Facebook Marketplace and Business stepping into every country of the world, it is now at the absolute top of the hacking bounty list. Successful hacking allowing these scammers to access not only an individual’s personal records but also their bank statements and details alongside vandalism and hate speech.

One such hacking victim was Ontario’s Angel McNamara’s that was hacked on a morning. Facebook emailed that there was an attempt to log in and there's nothing special to worry about, however, to her dismay, this notification was followed by a second email that informed her of a password change. The second one sent shockwaves as it was sure confirmation of her account being lost. The email stated that the a new two-factor authentication number was enabled for her account. Similar to a double edged sword, two factor authentication is impossible to crack for a normal individual with standard tech expertise.

To recover her lost Facebook account, she tried the website complaint system and followed suit all the steps that were mentioned in the communication to her. However, this changed nothing and she could still not log in to her Facebook account, as the automated account recovery process of Facebook appears to be good for people only born before stone age, as it most of the time offers little to no help.

The experience of Angel was similar to tens of hundreds of people every day that are victims of hacking. Reddit, Twitter, and Instagram are filled with instances of hacking that have cataclysmic consequences for the victims almost every other hour.

The first instinct of such users is to contact the Facebook company, however, the mobile phone for its silicon valley based headquarters replies with a recorded message indicating the companies unavailability on on-phone customer care. The biggest vacuum in this system was a lack of email or a phone number to contact in case of a hacked account. The actual system in place is to report the hacking on the website and upload a driver’s license, passport, or any form of ID consisting of the name and photo of the individual in question. However, there are many cases that indicate the slow processing speed of this procedure and an even lower efficiency rate.

Facebook’s spokesperson Gabby Curtis acknowledged the problems associated with the artificial intelligence employed for authentication of the individual. A user on Reddit highlighted that this could work if everything apart from the name and the photo are covered. For many users it worked as the authentication method, however, for equally many users, this did not work. Therefore, probing Facebook to find a better and efficient system for reclaiming hacked accounts.

Many complained that this could be solved by human interaction and a real person verifying the cases would be better suited to everyone. To this claim, Curtis responded that the COVID Pandemic has tied its hands in terms of the manpower available to them. However, this was not accepted by many individuals as there was more to a Facebook account than just posts and photos.

Ben Coleman, a teacher by profession, an entrepreneur, and a content creator that used Facebook for his audience was stuck in a dilemma. He made the quick decision to lock his Facebook account to prevent the hackers from accessing his audience and vandalizing. However, unlocking it has not been possible to this date and Ben had to start again from scratch.

For some individuals, losing a Facebook account means emotional loss and for one Jon Morgan from Michigan, not only the followers of his maple syrup festival were vandalized, he also lost all photos of his son that died just last year. According to Morgan, this made him realize the levels at which everyone is embedded in Facebook and how dreadful the loss of just an account can be.

While many users found a haven in the Facebook acquired Oculus Virtual Reality Company. With its own support mechanism, a few users were able to verify that they bought an oculus product and then refunded it after getting their Facebook account back. While it worked for some, many were left in the dead with a $299 VR set that they never needed. To further the burn, Facebook discontinued the Oculus Quest 2 due to hygiene reasons.

While many are distraught and horrified at the idea of their Facebook accounts being hacked, there is little to nothing from Facebook other than canned responses that they are investing in finding a solution for the hacking and reclaiming dilemma.


H/T: NPR.

Read next: User data requests show steady growth in government surveillance

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