POSTED: Friday, May 25, 2012 - 4:00pm
UPDATED: Friday, May 25, 2012 - 4:04pm
NBC NATIONAL NEWS — Chad Sanders is originally from Tennessee, but he works in Los Angeles as a set dresser. So Facebook isn't just for keeping in touch with mom back home, it's for getting jobs.
So when Chad's Facebook page was recently hijacked, it was crippling because he says the hacker used Facebook to get into his email account.
"There was nothing I could do I was totally locked out of everything. It was pretty scary for my friends as well," said Chad Sanders.
The hacker was pretending to be Chad.
"I started getting these Facebook ads for Nike shoes. They say if you hit the ad and look at the ad that that's how they get into your profile," Sanders said.
And that's how he says the virus wormed itself into his Facebook and email.
"They try to infect as many people as they can and they trick people into clicking a link to spread their virus to more machines," said cyber security expert Johnny Gannon.
He says that social networks are the new target.
"There's so many people on Facebook and it's so much easier to spread messages to friends and get them to click on it that way," Gannon said.
Chad says he lost years of photos and most of his contacts.
He says Facebook took too long. It took three weeks to shut down the hacker, and now Chad can't get his original page back.
Facebook responded by saying they would restore Chad's old account and all the photos he lost.
Facebook says hacking is taken seriously, but the process of figuring out who is the hacker and who is the victim can be time consuming.
How can you stop this from happening to you?
Well, Facebook has extra safety features which you can sign up for, like email and text notifications if someone logs into your account from an unrecognized computer.
It's all in your security settings.