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What to do when your social media account gets hacked

What to do when your social media account gets hacked

04 December 2020

Most of us have social media accounts on many platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, etc. Those accounts can easily get hacked if users don’t use a strong password and 2-factor authentication.

You log in to your social media account and notice posts or messages definitely not posted or sent by you. Or, maybe you receive an email that your password has been changed, but you didn’t request this change. This leads to you thinking that your account has been hacked. So, what should you do?

The number of social media breaches has been drastically increased lately. According to a recent survey, 22% of the users said that their social media accounts have been hacked once, while 14% admitted they were hacked multiple times. So, instead of thinking what if that happens to me, you should think when will that happen.

After your account has been hacked, the first thing you need to do is to change your password. Then, you need to notify your friends and followers that your account has been compromised, so they will know not to click on any posts or links that appear to be from you because they might contain malware.

But, having your social media account hacked may bring other hidden threats as well. For instance, if you have shared too much personal information, hackers can use it to guess your security questions on your other accounts or even steal your identity.

This information may be your date of birth, home address, workplaces, or even names of family members and pets. However, once a hacker logs into your profile, all your information can be stolen, even if your profile has strong privacy settings.

Smart hackers will also try to use your email address and password on other sites to check if they can log in as you, including banking websites.This is the main reason why you shouldn’t use the same password in multiple places. You should have strong and unique passwords for each account.

Next, you have to address the fact that your account could have been used to spread scams or malware. Hackers often infect accounts so they can profit off clicks using adware, or steal even more valuable information from you and your contacts.

You may have already seen the scam for “discount – sunglasses” that appeared on Facebook and Instagram. These scamming posts contain malware and once a user is infected, it tags all their friends in a post. Users are often tricked to click on the posts as it appears to be from their trusted friend’s feed. Unfortunately, they compromise their own account by clicking on the phony ad.

After warning all your contacts for suspicious messages that may have been sent from your account, you should also report them to the social media site, and delete them.

At the end, you will have to check if any new apps or games are installed on your account. If so, you should immediately delete them because that may be another attempt to hack into your account.

If your account has been previously hacked or you just want to know how to prevent any hacking attempts, we got you covered. Here is a list of tips on how to keep your social media accounts safe and prevent hacking attempts from happening in the first place.

  • Use strong and unique passwords that include lowercase and uppercase as well as numbers and symbols. If you can’t remember several passwords, you can use a password manager to store all of them.
  • If you want to keep your data secure, enable a two-factor authentication. Most social networking websites offer this privacy setting.
  • Avoid clicking on any suspicious links or messages, even if someone you know posts them.
  • Avoid posting any personal information that might help an attacker guess your security questions.
  • Don’t log in to your social accounts when you are connected to a public Wi-Fi. These networks are usually unsecured and your data can be easily stolen.
  • Install a security software program that will protect from the latest cyber threats.

If you follow these tips, you will never have to worry about attackers hacking into your social media account.

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