Even Mark Zuckerberg’s social media accounts including Twitter, Linkedin, and Pinterest were hacked! That’s right. One of the world’s most famous entrepreneurs has been subjected to social media hacking. The hack was accomplished by a group called OurMine. This group later posted screenshots on a bunch of online news channels. This came with an ominous tweet which read “We are just testing your security.” This event reveals how easy it has become to hack into someone’s social media account. So we are going to look at some means by which you can avoid it or manage the fallout.
What to Do If Your Social Media Accounts Get Hacked
The first thing to do is stay vigilant. If you spot any suspicious activity, act immediately. Social media platforms like Facebook are a treasure trove for hackers. Using some very nifty techniques, they can steal your personal information and use it to their own ends.
If you use your social media on a public Wi-Fi, you are at an even greater chance of getting hacked. It is best to keep the connection private and secure. Or at least use a VPN to hide your details from hackers. Follow some security tips to protect your Facebook account from hackers.
Why Are These Hacks Such A Big Deal?
Social media hacks are among the worst kinds of online attacks. As Darren Guccione of Keeper Security explains, a Facebook hack is enough to get all the personal info they need on you. This includes your present location and your personal attributes like age, height etc. Also, they can steal your identity and then use it to commit further crimes.
A hacker can also choose to extort ransoms or even delete your personal data. According to a 2016 FBI report, ransomware yielded a net 1 billion USD of profit to hackers worldwide. Normally in such situations, hackers encrypt all account data and demand payment through cryptocurrencies by a certain time. If you fail to deliver, the data is expunged.
How to Identify Hacked Accounts
The truth is that not all hacked accounts get a mail notifying them of the same. However, if your account exhibits any of the following actions without your knowledge, then assume it has been compromised:
- Any action that you did not do yourself such as friending or unfriending someone.
- Any messages to or from people whom you do not know.
- Any account change notifications that you did not make yourself.
- Applications or pages that you did not like and begin using.
If you spot any of the above happenings in your account, there are chances that it has been hacked.
How Do Hackers Get Into Social Media Accounts?
Majority of social media hacks are accomplished through one or more of the following ways:
- Clicking on a malicious mail or website link.
- Not running the latest software update.
- Using easily-guessable passwords.
- The social media site itself getting hacked.
- Authorizing a third-party app that was compromised.
Now, let’s have a look at what to do in case of a hack.
How to Handle Your Account Getting Hacked
After you discover your account hacked, you should immediately take the following steps:
In case you used the same password on all websites, you should go and change them before they get compromised. Also, make sure to use a strong password this time which cannot be guessed.
Report the Scam
This is the second most important thing to do. As soon as you discover the breach, report it to the company so they can address it from their end. Also, get in touch with customer care.
Tell Your Near and Dear
Hackers may use your account to contact people who know you. Make sure they do not listen to anything from the account until you know it has been re-secured.
Diagnose Your Computer
Malware use is a common and popular way of getting passwords. After getting hacked, run a full system scan on your computer. Once you have made sure that there is no malware there, change your passwords. And make sure you use different passwords for different accounts.
Get Rid of All Third-Party Apps
One of these might have been the source of the hack. So, you should get rid of all the ones you do not need. There are several malicious apps that look innocent. It’s best to uninstall all the apps you don’t use. And make sure you download apps from the official app stores only.
Activate Two Factor Authentication
If you haven’t done this already, now is the time. Enabling this one gives your account an extra layer of security and make your account difficult to hack into.
Check Your Mail
Make sure your mail settings are not altered. Hackers can sometimes change your setting to auto-forward certain emails. If those emails contain your personal information, you can be sure it’s going to hurt you later.
Is There Anything Else I Can Do To Stay Safe?
There are a variety of social media hacks that are easy to accomplish. The first thing to do is to be informed about them. Depending on the intent of the hacker, social media hacks can be annoying to downright disastrous. Also, this varies from one platform to another. For instance, a Twitter account hack is no biggie. But a Linkedin hack can be devastating.
When it comes to staying safe online, your first line of defense is vigilance. Never open emails or messages that look suspicious. Another important thing is to use a VPN to connect with all networks. This will greatly reduce the chances of you getting hacked. Since a VPN encrypts your connection, even if a hacker is able to intercept your network, they will not be able to read the data.