Are your friends, followers, and fans receiving weird, spammy messages? Is your profile picture of a woman you’ve never seen? Why are you all of a sudden trying to sell everyone weight loss shakes?
It’s not your fault, you have been hacked.
According to a Elie.net Google Consumer Survey nearly one in five people have had an account compromised online. It happens to those who may not be careful and sign in from multiple computers, and it happens to the most secure of us, like it did for CIA Director John Brennan which was revealed on 60 Minutes last month.
Response time is everything when your accounts are compromised. You need to know why this might have happened, and what to do to arm your accounts against future hackers.
What to Do if You’ve Been Hacked
- Immediately reset all your passwords with completely new ones. After you finish switching them, then post your “Sorry, I got hacked” post.
- Make sure that you click “sign out of other devices” so if someone is using your account on another device, they will not be able to access your account again.
- For your new password security questions, instead of using just your normal answers, you can add an extra character before the actual answer. You could, for example, try $Katie or &Fido. Adding extra characters or having a mix of numbers, letters, and symbols help prevent hacked accounts. If the hacker tracks you looking for personal information, it will still be difficult for them to access your profiles.
- Run anti-virus software on your computer to hunt down anything that still may be there. PC Mag shared a list of free anti-virus applications with ratings and reviews.
- Check the protocol for whatever social media platform you are using and contact the appropriate department if necessary. These links will take you to the Help Center of each social media account and what to do specifically for each of these platforms: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn.
How Would Someone Hack Me?
- Some hackers just do it for the challenge or for fun. Some hackers purely hack for entertainment.
- For forced shares. If a hacker shares a link on your social media and your friends’ pages and they click on the link, those pages can be full of viruses or malware.
- For account info. They want to find your passwords, information, and data in order to hack bank accounts, shop, and other sensitive or valuable information.
Steps to Protect Yourself in the Future
- Make sure that you have complex passwords that hackers would not easily be able to uncover.
- Make sure your password isn’t your name or any information a hacker could easily find out about you online. Example: if you are constantly posting about your dog on social media, don’t make your security question the name of your pup, which a hacker would easily be able to track down.
- Don’t use the same passwords for all of your accounts. Make sure you throw in some variety so if for some reason passwords are leaked, hackers won’t be able to log into all your social media platforms, plus bank info or other secure accounts.
- Do not give out your passwords on online forms, unless you can make sure that the site is valid. Many websites have security authentication that you can run on your account or you may also be able to turn on notifications whenever anyone logs into your account.
- Log out of Instagram when you use a computer or phone you share with other people.
- Don’t check the “Remember Me” box when logging into your account from a public computer, as this will keep you logged in even after you close the browser window.
It can be scary when your social media profiles are hacked, but you can regain control and makes steps so that your accounts are secure in the future.
Even though the world of social media may seem safe and innocent, be conscientious of your online activity to minimize your risk. If something online looks suspicious, be wary and listen to your gut. Taking these simple steps can help protect you in the future and make certain that you alone have control of your social media.
When it comes to legal marketing and social media management, we have you covered. Let us know how we can help!