One fine day you sit back to relax and login to your favorite social media account and see a series of posts that you never posted and messages that were definitely not sent by you. Or maybe you wake up to an email that your XYZ account’s password has been changed without you even knowing about it. The first thing that pops up in your mind is that your account has been hacked. The next thing you know is you are panicking, not knowing what to do now!
This is something that needs to be addressed timely considering the social media trespasses that have been taking place increasingly at an alarming rate. According to recent reports, around 25% of social media users admitted that their accounts were hacked at least once, and approx 15% claimed it was hacked more than once.
So, the real question here is that what should you do if you find yourself stuck in a social media crisis like this? Well, your first step and the most critical one should be to reset your password straight away and inform your friends and connections that your account might have been jeopardized. Doing so will help ensure that your knowns or followers do not click or visit any suspicious links, posts, or messages that are being sent from your account because these might have malware or might be a phishing attempt.
But that’s not it. Having your social media account hacked might come with a lot of hidden dangers.
The amount of personal info you share on your social media is directly proportional to the number of threats associated with a hacker nosing around your account. Does your account contain your personal information that the attacker can use to steal your identity or maybe figure out the security questions on your other social media accounts?
This might be your birthday, phone number, address, hometown, family names, pet names, etc. Just bear in mind that no matter how much strong privacy settings you have applied on your profile to keep it secure, a hacker can get his hands one everything you have posted up until now as soon as he logs in.
The next thing you need to consider is if the hacked account’s password is currently in use for any other social media accounts. If it is so, then you need to reset those passwords too before the hacker finds it immediately. Any smart hacker would be quick to use your email address and known password to log in as you in all the other sites and platforms, including banking websites.
After this, you need to address the fact that the hacker might have used your account to spread malware and scams. Generally, hackers tend to infect other accounts in order to benefit from clicks using adware or steal more confidential and profitable information from you as well as your connections. The chances are that you might have already come across the “90% Off Ray-Ban Sunglasses” scam that tormented Facebook a few years ago and then occupied Instagram recently. This malware used to post fishy ads in the infected account and then tagged the account owner’s friends in those posts. Since these posts showed up in a known’s feed, other users were tricked into clicking on it and ended up jeopardizing their own accounts.
Therefore besides alerting your friends and connections not to click on any phony messages that might seem to be coming from you, you should also mark the posts as scams to the social media platform and have them removed from your profile.
Last but not least, you might want to cross-check if there are any applications or games downloaded to your account that you never installed. If yes, then uninstall and delete them right away as it might be another attempt to hack your account.
Now that we have discussed the steps you should take in case your account gets compromised, let’s take a look at measures you need to take to prevent this from happening in the first place.
By following these steps, you can avoid your social media accounts from getting hacked. And just in case it does, take the measures mentioned above to get your account back as well as prevent the hacker from getting his hands on your contacts’ account or personal info.
Security breaches are happening all the time and are everywhere today. We cannot stop them all, but we sure can protect ourselves against them effectively. Install reliable security software on your devices to safeguard yourself against such security threats.
Hariom Balhara is an inventive person who has been doing intensive research in particular topics and writing blogs and articles for Tireless IT Services. Tireless IT Services is a digital marketing, SEO, SMO, PPC, and web development company that comes with massive experiences. We specialize in digital marketing, web designing and development, graphic design, and a lot more.