What To Do When Your Social Media Accounts are Hacked
Hackers gaining unauthorised access to social media accounts can cause havoc for both business and personal users. Hacked social media accounts can be used to send malicious communications, which can damage reputations and even lead to legal problems. Hackers can also gain access to sensitive information that can be used to access your other accounts or steal your identity. Acting quickly and regaining control of your social media accounts reduces the amount of damage a hacker can cause.
Regain Control of Your Account
If you are able to sign in to your hacked account, the first step is to change your password. Make the new password as complicated as possible, using a combination of uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers and special characters. Make sure that the new password is completely different to the previous one. Avoid using names, locations, birthdays, anniversaries, house numbers or anything else that could be guessed.
If you are unable to sign in to your account, contact the social media provider immediately. Many platforms have a dedicated team to deal with hacked accounts. You may need to provide some personal information to prove your identity, so make sure you have any relevant paperwork to hand.
If you’re on facebook visit this page: https://www.facebook.com/hacked
Check Connected Apps
Most social media platforms allow you to connect your profile to other accounts and third-party apps. Navigate to your account settings and check the list of connected apps to see if there are any suspicious or unfamiliar services. As a precautionary measure, it’s often best to disconnect all connected services, as these could be used by hackers to access your account. You can reconnect trusted services later.
Change All Passwords
The information hackers gain from your social media account can often be used to access your other services, such as email, online banking and other social media platforms, particularly if you use the same, or similar, passwords for different services. Changing the passwords for all of your accounts and services may seem like a lot of work, but it will help to prevent further problems.
Check the Damage
Check the hacked social media profile to see if the hacker has sent any messages, images, videos, links or other content from your profile. Check for both public and private communications with other users. If the hacker has already deleted the messages, you may be able to find evidence in the trash folder. You should also check your account settings to make sure there are no changes to your personal or security information.
Tell Your Followers
Post a public message to let your followers and friends know that your account has been hacked. Encourage other users to let you know if they have received any suspicious messages from your profile. If the hacker posted content that could damage your reputation or cause legal problems, it’s important to seek advice and gather any relevant information as soon as possible. For example, if illegal images were posted on your profile and the police get involved, you may need to show evidence that your account was hacked.
Tighten Up Security
Tightening up the security of your online accounts and devices will help to protect against further hacking attempts. Many online services now provide two-step security to help protect your data. Two-step security offers an extra layer of protection by requiring additional information during the login process. Most online services also provide additional privacy settings that can help to restrict access to sensitive data.
Settings passwords, numerical codes, fingerprint locks or other security layers for all of your computers and devices, as well as ensuring adequate protection against malware, is also important for preventing problems in the future.
Hackers can cause a wide range of problems for both business and personal users, but quick action helps to reduce the damage. If your social media profile is hacked, you need to regain control of your account quickly, check connected apps, change all of your passwords, check the damage caused by the hacker, tell your followers what has happened and tighten up security.
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