Social media has become an integral part of our everyday lives. We can’t go a day without them it seems, from waking up in the morning and casually browsing your Facebook news feed, to uploading your holiday snaps on Instagram, or tweeting about your thoughts on the latest government elections. Each day comes with a certain amount of social media play.

But what happens when you realise that not everyone on these sites are there to befriend you or go “tete-a-tete” with you against your social or political theories. There are those out there that pose a risk to your safety and are lurking in the dark corners of the internet, just to take your personal or financial details.

Having your Facebook hacked might not seem like a big deal to some; however, the amount of personal information that each of us spread over the years on social media, offers hackers quite a full picture on your personal information.  It might not be that obvious that your Facebook account has been hacked, so if you suspect, always look for these tell-tale signs: New friends appeared, yet you’re sure didn’t add them, your password has been changed, or messages have been sent out that you didn’t send.

So what should you do if you find that your Facebook account has been hacked?

1.    Stay calm, act fast:

Keeping calm is essential as you will need to keep your wits about you if you want to minimise the damage the hacker has done. The very first thing to do is claim back your hacked Facebook account. You can do this by changing your password immediately. Review your most recent login activity, and make sure to write down any suspicious looking log ins. You should notify Facebook of this hack and make sure that they check your account for any further problems.

2.    Check your email accounts:

Chances are, your email accounts have been compromised as well. Its best to check your sent items for any emails that weren’t sent by you, and of course if you see emails that you didn’t send, BCC your entire contact list to let them know what happened. Change your passwords immediately and notify your email provider.

3.    Check with your Facebook friends

Review your friends list and make sure you don’t have any new friends that you don’t know. If you see new people, copy the address link and report them to Facebook immediately. Once you do that you should first unfriend them, then block them from viewing your account. Better safe, than sorry!

4.    Search for suspicious applications

You might have unwittingly downloaded malware or agreed to play some online game/ quiz that a friend sent you. These seemingly innocent apps could be the culprits behind your hacked Facebook account. Scour your app list and remove all unnecessary apps that might have caused harm.

5.    Update your security

Now that you have things under control again, it’s time to review and tighten your security features. There are many things that you can do to limit scammers and hackers from having easy access to your account. Limit the audience of your posts, make sure only friends of friends can find you, and don’t accept friend requests or app requests without being sure that they are 100% safe.