It’s common these days to see messages from friends on social media that their accounts have been hacked and not to accept any requests from them or respond to any posts or messages. Many of those who are hacked in this way have no idea what to do after alerting their networks to the incident. It’s easy to panic and shut down all your social media pages, but you usually don’t have to do this. The best thing is to stay informed, keep a close eye on your social accounts, and have some solid knowledge on the steps to take if you’re hacked.

How Do You Know You’ve Been Hacked?

Of course, the first step is knowing there’s a problem in the first place. Here are six signs your social media account has been hacked.

  1. You suddenly have a lot of spam ads on your feed.
  2. You discover that someone logged into your account from an unusual location.
  3. There are posts on your page that you didn’t write.
  4. You can’t log in to your account.
  5. You are now following new, unknown people or pages.
  6. Your friends are getting messages from you that you didn’t send.

The Dangers of Being Hacked

Everyone knows that it’s not good news that your social accounts have been hacked. But how bad is it, really? A lot of that has to do with how much personal information you share on your account. If you’ve got birthdates, names of family and pets, home address, hometown, etc., you could be in trouble. Even if you’ve protected this information by locking down your page, all that security goes away when someone hacks your account. If you’ve shared too much personal information, a hacker can steal your identity or guess your passwords to other accounts that have even more private information. At the very least, dealing with the fallout of a hacker is annoying and time-consuming. At the worst, it could have very real personal and financial consequences.

What to Do if You’ve Been Hacked

If you know you’ve been hacked, the first thing you need to do is change your password and notify all your connections that your account was compromised. This prevents them from clicking on suspicious messages that could contain malware or be phishing attempts. If you’ve used your password on other accounts, change those as well.

The next step is to flag any messages that have been posted to your account by the hacker. Report them to the social media platform as scams and then delete them from your profile page. Now check and see if there any new games or apps that you didn’t download on your account and delete those. If you’re having trouble deleting anything or if you’ve been locked out of your account, you should contact the platform or a specialist who can assist you.

Keeping Your Social Account Safe

Of course, the best way to recover from a hacking incident is to never experience one in the first place. Here are some tips for keeping your social media account secure.

  1. Never click on any suspicious messages or links, even if they seem to be posted by someone you know.
  2. Use multi-factor authentication if it’s available and choose the strongest security settings you can.
  3. Choose strong passwords for your accounts. Use these tips to create passwords that are hard to crack.
  4. Don’t log into your accounts when you’re using public or guest Wi-Fi.
  5. Keep updated on the latest malware and other threats so you can recognize and avoid them.
  6. Use security software to protect your system.
  7. Avoid posting information with too many personal details.

Social media can be a quick and easy way to connect with others, market your business, and stay up to date on what’s going on in others’ lives. Stay safe on all your platforms by knowing the signs of being hacked, understanding the steps to take if you are hacked, and securing your accounts to the best of your ability. Have further questions? Reach out to one of our experts.