Steve Alexander's 'Tech Q&A'

Getting locked out of a Facebook account can be difficult to undo.

Q: I was suddenly logged out of my Facebook account on my desktop computer. When I tried to log in again, I received a message that said, “We’ve detected suspicious activity on your Facebook account and have temporarily locked it as a security precaution.” The message said I was probably a victim of phishing (in which an attacker poses as a legitimate company to steal personal data), and offered to walk me through a security check if I clicked “continue.” But when I clicked “continue,” nothing happened. Now I can’t log in to Facebook via the Chrome or Firefox browsers on my computer, or the Facebook app on my phone. What should I do?

— Nathan Bliss, Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

A: The big question is why your Facebook account was locked. The answer could be:

• Facebook thinks (rightly or wrongly) that you violated one of its many rules. For example, there are rules about posting advertising, making “Facebook friends” or not using your real name. (For details, see tinyurl.com/y4aqxox5).

• You might have logged on from several different devices lately, which Facebook might consider an indication that your account had been hacked.

• You might have been a victim of “phishing” if you were misdirected to a phony website that appeared to be Facebook and you logged in there. If that happened, someone else might have used your login credentials to gain access to your account, and Facebook might have detected it.

• The message might not have come from Facebook, but from a hacker. If that’s the case, you might have downloaded some malware by clicking “continue.”

Here’s what you can do:

• Don’t click on a link in any message, no matter whom it appears to be from.

• Run the free version of the Malwarebytes security program (see tinyurl.com/jsdacdk), then try logging in to Facebook.

• Clear your browser’s cache and browsing history, then try logging in to Facebook.

• Try logging in to Facebook on someone else’s computer.

• Go through the Facebook process for regaining access to an account (see tinyurl.com/yysup9pf) or explain your problem to Facebook (see tinyurl.com/y5tq9cmu).

Q: I recently upgraded my iPad to Apple’s iOS 13.1.2 operating system, and now the voice-to-text feature of my Yahoo Mail app doesn’t work properly (the cursor jumps around.) However, the dictation feature works fine if I use Yahoo Mail via the iPad’s mail app. I reloaded the Yahoo Mail app, but it made no difference. Apple and Yahoo blame each other. What should I do?

— Dianne Wolf, St. Paul, Minn.

A: Like all new operating systems, iOS 13.1.2 is encountering some problems. For example, Apple is having iOS problems with its own email app (see tinyurl.com/y3subkpg), as well as with device battery life and data syncing (see tinyurl.com/y4paf89u). Given all that, it’s unclear when Apple will fix the bug causing problems in the Yahoo Mail app.

It’s also possible that Apple’s updates to iOS won’t solve the Yahoo Mail app problem, and that Yahoo will then have to rewrite its own app.

In the meantime, I suggest that you keep accessing Yahoo Mail via the iPad’s mail app (which, for you at least, seems to be working.)

Write to Steve Alexander at steve.j.alexander@gmail.com. Please include a full name, city and phone number.

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