Social media platforms provide fertile ground for communication without borders, so there is actually no limitation as to the potential benefits that these platforms can offer to you. This is why so many Internet users have been registering for new accounts on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Google+ on a daily basis, opening just another window of communication and online interaction with friends, relatives or even mere acquaintances and total strangers.
Most people own more than a couple of accounts on social media sites and use them fairly regular (even every day, as we have mentioned above). They connect with others and share personal information, videos and pictures of them and their loved ones. They also share their thoughts and anything else worthy of attention.
Due to the significant increase in the social media accounts and their gravity, there have been major incidents of hacking. This means that many social media accounts get hacked, and this is not a rare phenomenon to comment on.
On the contrary, many people have to confront with such a negative consequence of the importance of social media nowadays; social media is an easy and simple way for hackers and other malicious intruders to have their way and penetrate the systems of many other people (the followers of the person whose account has been breached) at once. Let’s start by looking into the signs that reveal the hacking, in order for you to be on alert and know when something is wrong with your account.
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Signs of a Hacked Social Media Account
Although it can be difficult to realize that your social media account has been compromised, there are definitely signs that should raise an eyebrow and motivate you to look deeper into the root of the problem. Some of the most frequent signs that reveal something is not great about your account include the following:
You instantly observe likes and follows that you had nothing to do with
You have your status updated, although you have not shared anything
There is ad flood on your page (unusually extensive)
You have trouble logging in
Private messages are posted on your behalf
Spam posts are posted on your behalf
You have new friends that you do not recall adding
Others inform you of sharing malicious content on your wall
If you notice some of these signs, you had better check it out and not sit idly. It is more than likely that your account has been hacked and you need to act promptly and effectively.
How do accounts get hacked?
In order for you to know how to be safe on social media, you need to know where the threat lies. Indeed, hacking a social media account is a lot easier and simpler than you would have expected it to be. There are sophisticated menaces nowadays lurking in the dark and targeting Internet users, so as to penetrate their system and access their sensitive data. These are the major methods for hacking a social media account being used by cybercriminals:
- Password exposed
- Malware installed
- Sites being hacked
- Third-party apps or services breached
As you can see, there are multiple routes to getting the desired effect and it is true that today the threats that appear online are far more advanced and sophisticated than a few years ago. So, your defensive line should be equally strong. Below, we are going to have a look at what you need to do if your social media account gets hacked.
What to do if your social media account has been hacked
Even if hacking has occurred, you should not panic. There are several steps that you can take in order for you terminate the threat and reset the protection layering on your computer. Just follow the guidelines being provided below in avoidance of any further damage. With dedicated work and attention, you will be able to regain your social media account and have nobody else threatening its integrity and uniqueness.
Of course it is crucial that you change your password immediately and that you use a solid password that has never been used by you anywhere else. The common strategy of using the same password on all of your accounts (email, banking accounts and social media platforms) can be catastrophic!
Delete the apps that appear on your social media account and that you know nothing about. If you have not installed anything, you do not need it on your account.
Equally important for safe social media is to set the default email address of your accounts and check that it is available for you to reach.
Make sure that your antivirus is up-to-date and schedule a thorough scan for any threats on your computer. If you use social media on multiple devices, have them all scanned.
Report spam posts, as they can hide malware and other threats. If a friend of yours clicks on them he might get in trouble and have his account hacked, too. You cannot allow this vicious circle to go on indefinitely.
Think twice before clicking on anything. New malware can crawl up to your account and therefore you need to be vigilant and eliminate such threats.
Use secure platforms for paid messaging. It is imperative that you buy the ads that you want right from the platform and not have a third-party getting in the way.
Last but not least, make sure that the online information of yours is safe. Do not reveal information that is linked to your account and do not expose too many details from your personal life online.
How to prevent hacking on social media
We have already outlined what needs to be done after having realized that your social media account has been breached. Nevertheless, it is essential that you know what you ought to do, in avoidance of repeating the same mistakes. You ought to enhance your security layering and allow nothing to penetrate the safety of your online navigation. There are some fundamental details that will make a huge difference for you, and that will offer great power and effectiveness against malware and other threats.
First of all, you need to be cautious with your password. Besides choosing to use a solid password that is hard to guess, you need to be really scholastic about others knowing. Even if you use social media at work, you cannot risk having the password of yours in use when leaving your office. Always log out and be twice as scholastic with shared computers. Do not share your password with others, even with your best friend or your better half. This is private for a reason and you should never underestimate the risk that you take when letting someone else know your private information.
Apart from that, you ought to introduce yourself to two-factor authentication. This is an extra weapon that you can use to enhance the protection offered to you via your password. With two-factor authentication, you eliminate the threat of someone else breaching your social media account (or any other account, apparently). There is another step that has to be followed and another piece of information for someone else to breach, prior to gaining access to your social media account. So, this is a great weapon that can be put into effect and act like an armor for you online.
Safer social media can be really hard to achieve, however, if you are concentrated on what you do and if you focus on the guidelines that we have provided, you will see that you can recover from a potential hacking of your social account without any delay or frustration. Of course, you can follow these simple guidelines even if you haven’t been hacked – prevention is better than the cure, right? Feel free to enhance your social media account protection right away. This will keep all dangers at bay and shield you against the malicious intent of others on the web. Remember that social media platforms can be truly helpful, provided that you know how to use them and what safety precautions you ought to take.