What to do when your Facebook account is “hacked”

I still use Facebook. About twice a month one of my friends posts “My Facebook account got HACKED! I changed by password but they’re still sending friend requests to my friends! What do I do?”

Or something similar.

Rather than re-typing the same basic instructions to people again and again I decided I’d put these handy instructions into a blog post and after this I can just send people this link. Saves me a lot of typing.

First off, if you can log into your account and change your password then you still have control over your account. If you go check your profile and all of the recent messages were posted by you, then no one else is accessing your account either.

If someone is sending friend requests to your existing friends, guess what? They’re not logging into your account to do that. You already have these people as friends, and you can’t send a friend request to someone who is already your friend.

So your account wasn’t “Hacked”. No eViL haX0r took over your account. Your account was “Cloned.”

Cloning is easy to do. This is what cloners do:

  • First they look for someone who has the privacy on their “Friends List” set to “public”. Someone like you.
  • They write down your name, then right-click and download your public profile picture. (Profile pictures are always public.)
  • They create a new account using your name and profile picture.
  • They use your public friend list and start sending friend requests to your friends.
  • After a few days, posing as you, they start hitting up your friends for money or trying other scams on them. “Help me! I’m stranded in [foreign country] and I need money for a [plane ticket/hotel/bail].”

This is what you need to do to fix the problem

  1. Set the privacy on your “Friends List” to “Private”. Now this won’t happen to you again. (probably)
  2. Tell your friends to report the imposter to Facebook. Facebook employees will disable the imposter’s account.

Pretty easy, huh? Here are some detailed instructions.

Set the privacy on your “Friends List” to “Private”

This is what you need to do to make your “Friends List” private. These screenshots were taken from an iPhone, but the same steps apply on a laptop or Android device.

Step 1: Click the Menu button in the lower right hand corner

Step 2: Click on the Gear icon in the upper right corner

Step 3: Scroll down to “Audience and visibility” and click “How people find and contact you”

Step 4: Click “Who can see your friends list?”

Step 5: Click “Only me”

Now the imposters can’t see your friends list and won’t have a reason to clone your account.

Now you just have to…

Tell your friends to report the imposter to Facebook

This is what your friends need to do. (Send them a link to this article if you think that will help them.)

Step 1: Find the imposter’s friend request and click the 3 dots

Step 2: Report the Imposter

Step 3: They’re pretending to be someone!

Step 4: They’re pretending to be a friend of mine!

Step 5: Enter your friend’s name here, select their name from the pop-up list, then click Next

Step 6: You’re done. Click Next to resume wasting time on Facebook

When I’ve reported imposters they’re usually gone within hours.

Hope you find this useful.


How to make the best drip-brewed coffee every time

My sister was visiting and I made a pot of coffee. My sister had a cup and said “That’s really good coffee. How did you make it?”

I’ve gotten that same response from many, many people who drink my coffee and I finally realized that there’s a lot of people who just don’t know how to make a pot of coffee. There’s no magic to it: start with good coffee and measure what you put in the coffee pot.

Pretentious coffee snobs are annoying. No one cares about your perfect cup of espresso. If you’re one of those people just go away and die somewhere. Really.

When I bought my first drip coffee maker years ago — a Cuisinart 12-Cup Brew Central Programmable Coffee Maker that’s still being manufactured and sold today — I wanted to make coffee like Starbucks, so I went to the Starbucks web site and read their instructions.

Step Zero – Buy good coffee. They don’t actually say that on the Starbucks site, but they’re assuming you’re buying Starbucks ground coffee. You can’t make good food from bad ingredients, and you can’t make good coffee from inferior beans.

Buy some good quality coffee. It doesn’t have to be from Starbucks, but it can’t be dry brown dust with bits of bean husk in it. The grounds should smell like the best cup of coffee you ever had and look like rich black loam. If you’re looking for suggestions try Starbucks Casi Cielo or Peet’s Sulawesi Kalosi.

Step One – Choose the right grind
For a flat bottom filter, use a medium grind that resembles sea salt. Cone filters use a finer grind that resembles granulated sugar.

Starbucks – How to brew coffee at home

That seems clear enough. My Cuisinart has a cone filter, so get ground coffee that looks like granulated sugar. Easy. Done.

Trigger alert for pretentious coffee snobs: I tend to buy Peet’s coffee and grind the whole pound at once. A pound lasts about a week at my house, so it’s not going to lose any of its vital essence. Get over yourself.

Step Two – Measure
Use 2 tablespoons of freshly ground coffee for every 6 ounces of water.

— Starbucks – How to brew coffee at home

I think that this is where they lose people. 6 ounces of water? My coffee pot says it makes 12 cups. How many tablespoons for a pot of coffee? What if I want to make a half a pot? Or 4 cups?

First off, if you try to make a pot of coffee and you’re measuring grounds by the tablespoon your measurements will be off every time. You will add too much coffee or not enough. Don’t use a tablespoon.

Second, the cups on a drip coffee pot are not the same as a 1 cup measure. A one cup measure is 8 fluid ounces. My “12 cup” Cuisinart pot holds 64 fluid ounces of coffee, so “1 Cuisinart cup” = 5-1/3 fluid ounces. WTF?

Using the Starbucks measuring method I’d need 10-2/3 tablespoons per pot. Try it and you’ll get weak, underwhelming coffee. That’s not how they make coffee at Starbucks.

Make a perfect pot of coffee

My method is simple: Use the lines on the pot to measure water, use measuring cups to measure coffee grounds.

Full pot of coffee – fill the pot to 12 “cups” of water, use 1 cup of ground coffee.

Half pot – 6 “cups” water, 1/2 cup ground coffee.

Third pot – 4 “cups” water, 1/3 cup ground coffee.

Quarter pot – 3 “cups” water, 1/4 cup ground coffee.

Easy, right? Full pot, one cup of ground coffee. Half pot, 1/2 cup of ground coffee. Quarter pot, 1/4 cup of ground coffee.

For advanced coffee preparers:

Two-thirds of a pot – 8 cups of water, add 1/3 cup of ground coffee TWICE!

10 cups of coffee – 10 cups of water, 1/2 and 1/3 cups of ground coffee.

Try this method and and I GUARANTEE you’ll never go back to whatever you were doing to make coffee before or NO MONEY BACK. You too will hear the words “That’s really good coffee. How did you make it?”

Hope you find this useful.