Insights & Trends
For most, Facebook is a platform to connect with friends and family. But, for those of us who work in the social media industry, Facebook is our lifeline. Do you know if your profile is secure? Have you ever considered what would happen if you lost access to the platform? In light of the massive data breach of 2019 that exposed the personal data of over 530 million users, Facebook has increased its security. Of course, this is great, but if you’re not keeping up with security hygiene, it is easy for Facebook to flag “unusual” activity and lock you out. I know because this happened to me. Here is what I learned after getting locked out of Facebook for 48 hours.
I found myself in a Facebook black hole where none of the help guides worked, all links were dead, and I couldn’t find my profile. Essentially, for two days, I didn’t exist in the eyes of Facebook.
I am a Social Media and Content Marketing Director, and as you can imagine, Facebook is an incredibly vital tool for my job. I never considered what would happen if I suddenly lost access to the platform, but I can now tell you it’s highly disruptive. Let me paint a picture for you; it’s Monday morning, I have my coffee, my to-do list, and I am ready for the day. I log into Facebook, and I get the following message:
I think, hmmm, that’s weird – but let me look, update my password, and I’ll be on with my day. That is not at all how it went. I found myself in a Facebook black hole where none of the help guides worked, all links were dead, and I couldn’t find my profile. Essentially, for two days, I didn’t exist in the eyes of Facebook. I immediately took to Google and found several forums indicating that it took weeks or months to get their page back. The panic set in. Thus, the quest to unlock my Facebook account began.
I got back into my account through lots of trial and error. Here are my top tips to avoid getting locked out of Facebook and how to get back in if you do.
When you lose access to your account, the first thing Facebook support will ask you for is your profile ID and the last four digits of your Business Manager ID. I didn’t have either of these on hand, and it would have been a lot easier and faster if I did. I recommend writing them down or storing them somewhere safe on your computer if you ever need them.
When’s the last time you checked in on your Facebook security? Have you changed your password? Stop what you’re doing and do it now if you’re reading this! I hadn’t changed my password or updated my settings in months, and if I had, I might have avoided a stressful two days. Keep your profiles safe with regular password hygiene.
I have this on my profile, but it can help protect your profile if you don’t. To learn more and to set this up, visit here on Facebook.
My personal Facebook page is the only way I connect to our Business Manager, so it was a BIG issue when I was locked out. I will be creating a backup profile to use in the future if this ever happens again.
As we know, Facebook has many users (1.8 billion), which means their support team is often overwhelmed. One piece of advice that I got from our Facebook rep and several Reddit threads is to fill out every form you can find multiple times a day. Here are the forms I used to get my account back:
The most significant issue was broken links in the help guides during this process. I read on Reddit that if you keep refreshing and clicking multiple times a day, eventually, it will load. This was true for me! You can also try accessing your account from different browsers and apps. I ultimately reconnected via my phone app after multiple attempts.
If you’re connected to multiple business pages like I am, Facebook is going to need a copy of your ID or driver’s license to verify your identity. Have a photo saved on your phone or computer for easy access.
If your account is so far gone that it can’t even load the support pages, have a friend submit a claim for you. In this case, your Facebook ID will be beneficial as they will need to have it to verify your account.
I had three emails associated with my Facebook page – one was a yahoo email from 15 years ago that I never use. I recommend cleaning up your settings so it’s easier for Facebook to identify if you’ve been hacked or not.
If you can, try the “forgot my password” feature and reset it. I couldn’t get back into my account this way, but I think it expedited Facebook’s review since I had to use two-factor authentication to change the password.
After 48 grueling hours, I finally got access to my account again. All is right in the social media world. If this does happen to you, I am here to tell you that you can get access to your account back, and it doesn’t have to take weeks or months. Do you have any other tips that I missed?
For more Content Marketing and Social Media Management tips, visit us at www.rinckadvertising.com.
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