No, your Facebook/Instagram accounts (probably) didn’t get hacked — but you will have to log in again

If you’re waking up this morning and checking Facebook, Instagram or any of Meta’s other services, you may find that you’ve been logged out. It’s not a hack, but instead the result of a blip somewhere in Meta’s servers.

Overnight, Meta — the parent company of Facebook, Instagram and Threads amongst others — suffered an outage which kicked a decent quantity of its audience off its servers.

What’s worse — and I know this thanks to an unwelcome bout of insomnia — the outage also affected Facebook’s authentication servers, making it impossible to log back in again.

So what happened?

Good question — and we don’t exactly know is unfortunately the answer. Messages on social media services from Meta employees chalked it up to “a technical issue”… which doesn’t tell us all that much.

Did Mark Zuckerberg unplug a server in order to plug in his hair curler? Was it some errant test code that went rogue? I suspect we’ll never specifically know, unless Meta is legally compelled to say. Given it seems to have been concluded, that feels unlikely.

What is pretty clear is that Meta reset a whole bunch of access authorisations for Meta services as a result of the technical issue, which was why you were logged out of those services.

What should I do? Should I worry about my account being hacked?

For the first part of that question, Meta says that all of its services have been restored — and that certainly gels with my own personal experiences here — and that all you should need to do is log back into your Meta account to use its platforms.

For the second part… yes, always. Meta account hijacking is rife, which is why I threw “probably” in the headline there, because I can’t account for every single account.

But there are some sensible precautions you can take. Switch to a passkey or enable two-factor authentication on your Meta accounts, for a start, because that way even if there is some kind of successful hack into Meta’s services, the odds of your account being compromised go way down.

Also, it’s a timely reminder to go outside every once in a while (or look up from your phone) and enjoy the sunshine. Except in this case, where it happened in the wee hours of the morning in Australia. Enjoy the moonshine, I guess? No, wait, that’s something else entirely…

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