One of my clients phoned me, rather distressed, on Saturday. Someone had hacked her Facebook page and also her Hotmail account...and her email account associated with her own website. Like many of us, remembering a dozen complicated passwords is a pain, so my client had used one password for all three and admittedly it was a relatively low security one.
I've now given her a new email account for her website with a mother of a password, but she's still unable to access her Facebook page and her Hotmail account, which she uses for business.
The ramifications of the Hotmail account being hacked are pretty serious. This person is a consultant with high-level professional clients. She has had to go into damage control mode and send her clients a note stating that her account has been hacked and to disregard any messages sent from her Hotmail account effective last Friday night.
What's making it hard for her to get back on track and get her Facebook and Hotmail accounts back is that the hacker has changed secret questions and answers, and now she is having a tough time proving she is who she is. Facebook can send you a new password via text message, but my client got a new mobile phone earlier this year and didn't update that in her Facebook account. And it's pointless Facebook sending her a new password to her email account, because the account linked with Facebook is, you guessed it, the Hotmail account.
We don't know whether this has been a random hacking attack or a deliberate attack from someone she knows, but my client has called the police and reported it.
Facebook is a hotbed for hackers. We've all heard about tribute pages which have been hacked into, to the distress of the friends and family of the person the page was a tribute to. This is the first time someone I know - let alone a client - has been hacked on Facebook. All of us think "It won't happen to me", but be vigilant, and change your FB password to something a lot more difficult for hackers to guess. Your security is your identity.