How to Protect Your Facebook Account from Hackers

If you haven’t experienced it alone, you surely know someone whose Facebook ad account got hacked. Be cautious and read before you act, especially if you receive an email requiring you to log in to the platform and take specific actions.

Real cases from Accella Digital clients inspire our article, and we hope it helps improve your security and know-how on what to do in case of a potential account takeover.

One of the most common and straightforward methods for stealing personal information is through so-called phishing attacks. Attackers usually reach out via email pretending to be a legitimate source or entity, such as a social network account executive, bank or online store owner, etc. These emails almost always follow the same structure and message: urging you to take immediate action, often requiring that you submit your personal information (email, password, bank details, login information) through an external link.

Answering their inquiry may result in losing your account access in seconds, potentially damaging your business.

Here is what the anatomy of a phishing email may look like:

  • The email subject attracts attention and usually has a high open rate;
  • The business name is displayed, which helps make the email look legitimate;
  • The fonts and layouts are identical to the ones used in the original Facebook newsletters;
  • The email contains a compelling phrase for a required action within a fixed timeframe, thus creating a sense of urgency, which increases the chances for the user to initiate the “verification” process.

Always double-check the sender’s email address. This is the quickest and easiest way to verify if the message is a scam. In case of doubt, we recommend sending any suspicious emails to be reviewed by your advertising agency or marketing specialist before taking further action. Often, scam emails warn you about disapproved ads or payment status issues and do not typically require you to enter your credentials or initiate any specific action.

Here are a few tips on how to protect your business accounts on Facebook:

1. Review Admin Access to Your Facebook Page or Ad Account and Enable Mandatory Two-Factor Authentication

The best way to safeguard against cyberattacks and malicious practices is to ensure you apply the highest level of security to your ad account, as well as review account access occasionally.

What is Two-Factor Authentication?

Two-factor authentication (2FA) is an additional layer of security where a second action from the user is required to prove their identity in addition to the regular login password.

There are several options to choose from to activate your two-factor authentication:

– Via SMS: This is the easiest and most convenient method. When Facebook detects an attempt to log in from an unfamiliar device or browser, it sends a security code via SMS.

-Security Key: A small hardware device which can be used to help keep your Facebook account secure. It is often used on top of other 2FA methods.

– Authenticator App/Code Generator: An additional application installed on your phone that generates access codes that change every few seconds.

From the image below, you can see where to navigate in your account to activate two-factor authentication.

This step is mandatory, especially when it comes down to business accounts with linked bank details. Authentication can be activated for all users in your business account.

Review Your Account Access

You should occasionally review your account access, especially if you notice any unusual activity. If you see someone you may not know has administrative access to your ad account, you should take immediate action. Otherwise, there is a risk you may have your access removed and get locked out of your account.

We also advise you to keep at most 2-3 users with admin access to your ad account.

2. Phishing Emails And How to Detect Them

Unusual Email Address

The sender’s email address contains misspellings. If you receive a message that requires your personal information or click on external links, always keep in mind to verify the sender’s address.

Suspicious External Links

If you still click the external link provided in the email, it may lead you to a page where you will be asked to enter your personal information. When you examine the web address closer, you may notice any misspellings, awkward spacing and strange email layouts.

Insecure HTTP Connections

A website should always be secured with HTTP encryption when it processes sensitive information, such as personal data and passwords. However, HTTP doesn’t guarantee security, as hackers sometimes may exploit it since data transmitted over it is sent in plain text and can be read by anyone with access to the network traffic, including cyber criminals.

3. Reach Out to Your Advertising Agency

If you are still trying to decide whether to trust a particular email, you can always contact your digital agency to help verify its legitimacy.

If you already provided your personal information upon the hacker’s request and were locked out of your account, it is essential to react promptly.

We at Accella Digital are familiar with such malicious practices and have helped our clients regain their account control.

What to Do If You’ve Been Hacked:

1. Remove Account Access to People in Case of Suspicious Activity

A swift and timely response is needed in this case. The first step is to log into your profile while you still have admin rights and remove account access for the hackers.

Earlier in the article, we mentioned where to navigate in your Facebook Business Manager to locate user access. Here is how you can remove a user:

Freeze the Credit Card Used in Your Ad Account

If you’ve already lost access to your ad account, what’s next is to contact your bank to alert them of the breach and freeze the credit card paying for your ads. This way, even if you’ve lost access to your account, you will prevent your card from getting drained of funds and the possibility of hackers running ads with stolen money.

3. Disconnect Your Business Page from Your Business Manager

Since the Business Manager is the most valuable asset for hackers, it’s important to disconnect it from your Business page. This approach applies in specific cases, so we mark it as optional. First, ensure no other suspicious profiles run as admins in your account.

4. Contact Facebook Support for Assistance

Since Facebook support receives a high volume of inquiries daily, resolving the issue may take some time. Don’t let this discourage you, as the chance to regain your account access is high.

You can contact Facebook support from here:

Hacker attacks have become more advanced and skillfully crafted in recent years. However, if we regularly monitor our ad accounts and stay alert, we can save ourselves future headaches and surf the vast waves of the Internet space smoothly and peacefully.

Meta Ads Manager Updates That Dominated 2022

We have already seen quite a few Instagram and Facebook updates throughout 2022, and one thing we know for sure about Meta features – change is the only constant. In the world of marketing and global technology, change is something natural. It provokes us to step out of our comfort zone as advertisers and adapt to the changing marketing landscape.

Marketers are heading into 2023 with more automation, powerful new capabilities and seamless experiences across Meta platforms. Keep reading to find out what changed.

     1. Change to Meta Ads Manager Objectives
When choosing your campaign objective, think carefully about the one that best suits your business goals.

Campaign Objectives Before

 Campaign Objectives Now

We can now choose from six simplified campaign objectives: Awareness, Traffic, Engagement, Leads, App Promotion, and Sales. Previously, we only had Awareness, Consideration and Conversion. 

Some previous objectives will now be available as a feature or optimization setting when creating your ad set.

  1. Detailed Targeting Options

Meta strives to personalize the platform and make it more user-friendly by removing some Detailed Targeting options related to politically or culturally polarizing topics. These include sexual orientation, race, religion, health, ethnicity and political affiliation. You can still target by interests and behaviour without the risk of touching on sensitive topics like the ones listed above.

  1. Advantage functions

In August, Meta launched several new tools to help you quickly create more automated ads:

  • Advantage+ creatives automatically adjust ad creative for each person who views your ad. The platform shows them the version to which they will most likely respond, delivering better ad performance.
  • Advantage audience creates a personalized audience based on your Page details.
  • Advantage+ App Campaigns also had several new updates to increase the performance of app install campaigns. These updates include more creative flexibility, 7-day-click attribution capabilities to improve campaigns with longer attribution windows and more granular reporting insights.
  • Advantage Campaign Budget is the well-known Campaign Budget Optimization option under a new name. It offers a way of optimizing the distribution of a campaign budget across your campaign’s ad sets.
  1. Tailored Sales Campaign creation

You’ve likely come across this campaign type in the past few months. Here is some update from Meta about how it functions.

  • It offers a more straightforward setup.
  • It is a tailored solution that will drive results for your business.
  • It uses Meta’s best practices as pre-set functions.

The pre-set functions include:

  • Campaign objective: Sales
  • Bidding strategy: Lowest price
  • Dynamic Creative: On*
  • Placements: Automatic
  • Ad optimization: Conversions
  • Attribution window: 7-day-click or 1-day-view

You can customize the following options:

  • Location
  • Budget and ad schedule
  • Audience

*Dynamic creative uses images, videos, text, and audio and combines them in new ways to improve the effectiveness of your ad.

If you want more control using standard settings, go ahead with the second option – Manual Sales Campaign, which will redirect you to the familiar Conversions campaign settings.

  1. Meta announced new updates to its call ads intended for businesses to find more quality leads and reach potential customers to grow their business.
  • Call ads in Sales Objective
  • 60s call ad in Lead generation, Traffic and Sales Objectives. Ads are optimized to reach people most likely to engage in an extended conversation. 
  1. Instagram Ads

In recent months, users started to engage even more with videos, with TikTok becoming the leading platform. Meta has already launched Reels globally and has a dedicated section for them. But what has changed in the way we advertise and utilise videos on Instagram? Here are a few updates:

  • Removing Instagram In-Stream Video Ad Placements and replacing them with Reels
  • Adding free, high-quality audio for Carousel Ads in Instagram Reels
  • Instagram Ads showing on Explore and Profile Feeds sections 
  • Introducing Augmented Reality Ads which are currently in an open beta

What to expect in 2023?

Metaverse will continue to unlock new opportunities for advertisers and businesses. Here are a few updates we could expect in the upcoming year.

  1. More emphasis on Advantage features since Facebook is looking to automate ad setup features and thus facilitate businesses.
  2. Data privacy is becoming more crucial. Android is likely to follow iOS 14.5 with more control over data privacy which will prevent data collection from Facebook Pixel. In the eyes of data regulations, CAPI (Facebook’s Conversions API) offers a promising alternative and should be implemented as soon as possible by businesses to continue to optimize advertising on Meta.
  3. Further investments are to be made in the Metaverse with a more specific emphasis on video and virtual reality technologies. Although Meta’s push to develop virtual and augmented reality technology has had a bumpy year so far, we are still to see what 2023 will offer.

Our agency manages results-driven digital campaigns, and we are here to guide you through platform updates and manage your digital campaigns in the best way possible. If you have any questions or would like to schedule an online meeting, don’t hesitate to contact us.

Changes in Facebook Ads throughout 2021

As a tradition, we’re sharing our annual blog update on the leading changes for the past year on Facebook (or Meta as it’s known now). In the advertising and social media field, changes are constant and dynamic, so to use the platforms to their full potential, we need to be up to date with their latest feature updates.

In today’s article, we have selected and summarized the significant updates and changes in 2021 that are important to keep in mind when working on the Facebook platform.

How Apple’s iOS 14 release may affect your ads

  • Changes in conversion reporting

Measuring the web and app events from people using iOS 14 or further devices is allowed only with Facebook’s new Aggregated Event Measurement protocol.

  • Limit to the use of 8 conversion events per domain

Before optimizing your campaigns for a specific action with Aggregated Event Measurement, you need to verify your domain. You also have the option to configure up to 8 events in Events Manager that your campaigns can optimize for.

  • Changes in user data reports for targeting

For both app and web conversions, the delivery and action breakdowns, such as age, gender, geographic region and ad placement are not currently supported.

  • New Attribution Window

28-day click-through, 28-day view-through and 7-day view-through attribution windows are not supported for active campaigns. Except for iOS 14+ app promotion campaigns and automated rules, the 7-day click attribution window can be modified by you to one of the other windows that are still supported. The following windows are supported under the new attribution setting:

– 1-day click or view

– 7-day click or view 

– 1-day click

– 7-day click (default)

The extent to which this change may affect reporting varies from business to business and by product segment. If most conversions happen within the 7-day attribution period, the change in reporting should not be that significant (especially if you use broad targeting for cheaper and/or free products that lead to quicker conversions ). The most robust difference can be observed in businesses offering products in a higher price range or customer paths taking longer to fulfill. In such a case, the final purchase will likely fall outside the 7-day attribution period.

Increasing the cost per click (CPC)
Increase in cost per click was an expected result given the number of businesses that turned to the e-commerce business model and the change in consumer behaviour due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The main reasons are several:

  • Facebook inventory is limited.

More retailers have shifted their focus to e-commerce business model, leading to more competition on the Google platform.

  • CPM increase

The number of advertisers and ad competition in the inventory of Facebook is increasing. At the same time, search interest remains constant, which leads to an increase in CPM (cost per impression) for your ads. CPM later determines your ad CPC (cost per click). In this case, you don’t necessarily need to invest higher budgets in the platform. What you need is a digital marketing strategy adapted to your business goals.

  • Ad quality matters

Ads with a more generic message and creative may often lead to ad fatigue. Facebook may also restrict your ability to advertise on its platform if its algorithm detects your ad is not delivering a diversified and engaging user experience.

Optimize delivery for Conversion leads in your Lead generation campaigns

You can now choose to optimize to increase the quality of your leads. Facebook will show your ad only to people in your target audience who are most likely to become customers. 

Facebook changes Conversion leads Accella Digital Blog

New “Optimize Text Per Person” Option

When activated, this new feature will choose whether to highlight the primary caption, the headline or the description text to each user, based on what Facebook’s system determines this user will best respond to. This new feature is similar to how Responsive Search Ads function in the Google Ads inventory.

With this enabled, any business (whether small or medium) can now deliver a more personalized advertising experience to each user. You only need to select the “Optimize text per person” option at an ad level, and the algorithm will do the optimization for you.

Facebook changes Customized Text Accella Digital Blog

Ads optimized for calls
Facebook offers the ability to optimize your ads for calls, resulting in better ad performance and lower cost per call. Creating ads optimized for calls is available in two types of campaigns – Traffic and Lead generation. In the Traffic campaign, you must navigate to the ad level, select Phone Call, and then enter the country and phone number.

Facebook changes Call ads Accella Digital Blog
For a Lead generation campaign, you can find the settings at the ad set level, where you need to select “Calls”.

Facebook changes Call ads Accella Digital Blog

Facebook Targeting Expansion becomes default

Facebook is making a change to target users more broadly. This is a big change that could lead to more results but may also upset advertisers wanting to limit targeting to a smaller group. 

Targeting Expansion will be turned on automatically when optimizing for conversions, value or app events while using the Conversions objective. When Targeting Expansion is turned on automatically in these cases, advertisers will not be able to turn it off.

Facebook changes Targeting expansion Accella Digital Blog

If you optimize for actions other than conversions, value, or app events, Тargeting Еxpansion will be turned off by default. Still, it can be turned on later (other than in the situations described earlier).

Targeting Expansion is available for all objectives besides for Reach and Brand Awareness campaigns. Also, it cannot be used when promoting a Special Ad Category.

With Targeting Expansion, Facebook is directing potential advertisers to use the broad targeting option more. It is a great feature that has the potential to drive better results, but it can limit advertisers who would like to narrow the targeting in their strategy.

Facebook changes the way it counts user profiles for advertising purposes 

Facebook is changing the way it counts user profiles for advertising purposes. Users who do not explicitly link their Facebook and Instagram accounts in the Facebook Account Center will now be treated as two separate people for the purposes of ad planning and management.

As a result, a slight increase could be noticed in the Estimated Audience Size and reach across the two platforms (Facebook and Instagram) as it counts some users twice.

Potential Reach Changes to Estimated Audience Size at an Ad Set

Facebook has also changed how it displays audience reach estimates at an ad set level. Previously we saw an approximate range of 100,000 people within our ad targeting. Now we may have an approximate range of 100,000-200,000.
This update has no direct impact on ad serving. The only thing that changes is the way audience size is visualized.

Advertisers on Facebook, Messenger, and Instagram will no longer be able to target teens based on their interest

As of August 23, 2021, detailed targeting, custom audiences, lookalike audiences, and saved audiences can no longer target users under the age of 18 globally, 20 in Thailand and 21 in Indonesia. It is important to note that these changes also affect Reach and Frequency campaigns, as the audience size decreases.

If you need assistance, our agency specializes in managing results-oriented digital marketing campaigns. If you have questions, don’t hesitate to contact us for a chat or an online meeting.