What the Tech? Locked out of Facebook - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

What the Tech? Locked out of Facebook

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I guess we've all had that moment when you just can't remember a username and password to an old account. Most of us probably joined Facebook 5-10 years ago, using an email address. If you no longer have access to that email account you could be locked out of Facebook the next time you're asked to remember your username and/or password.

Facebook has upped its security in recent years so it's difficult, if not impossible to access an account once you're logged out. Unless you have access to the email address, Facebook will not help you gain access to your account because there's no certainty that it isn't someone pretending to be you.

A friend recently ran into this problem when their mother couldn't remember the login information on an old Facebook account. She either didn't remember or didn't have access to the email address or phone number she used when the account was created. Sadly I had to advise her that there isn't much help.

Facebook for its part has made it possible to access an account even if you forget the username/password/phone number and email address combination.

"Trusted Friends" is a feature that gives you some help from fellow Facebook friends to get back into your account.

Here's how it works:

In the settings tab in Facebook you can select 3-5 of your Facebook friends as 'trusted contacts'. These should be your friends whom you trust with your information, though Facebook says they won't actually get access to your account.

Once those friends are selected the next time you're locked out of your Facebook account you'll be asked to reconnect using the email or phone number you used when you first created the account. If you don't remember that information you'll be asked to give Facebook an email address or phone number you are using now. Once that happens, you can see your trusted contacts.

Facebook will send those trusted contacts a message asking them to get in touch with you by phone. They'll go to the website www.facebook.com/recover. Once Facebook confirms they've contacted the real you, your friend will get a secret code which they should pass on to you.

Once all of those codes are collected, go back to Facebook.com and enter the codes after which Facebook will allow you to gain access to your account again. You'll of course need to change your password and you'll want to update your email address and phone number Facebook has on file.

Sure, you may think you'll never forget your Facebook login information. Keep thinking that. Or set up Trusted Contacts and never worry about wishing you had done it sooner.

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