Stop: Your Social Media Account Was Hacked

Media Division | October 6, 2016

Every day 1.96 billion people log onto social media. But if you spend a few minutes on the Internet you would learn that there are more than two dozen ways to hack a Facebook account many hackers can simply do it with having your phone number.

What if one day you logged on to find that messages you didn’t write were sent to your list of friends? Were you alerted that your account was logged into from an unusual location, or if you had posts on your wall that you know you didn’t post?

These are only a few of many signs that can point to your social media account being hacked.

How Hackers get Access to Your Social Media

Hackers gain access to accounts on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and the like for a variety of reasons. Some hackers choose to hack accounts just for fun. They may take advantage of popular accounts just to cause trouble or get a rise out of loyal followers. Other hackers hack for the forced shares and forced follows. These are a common sight in the world of hacked Facebook pages.

Most of us have seen a friend’s page that has been taken over with several repeated posts encouraging you to follow the provided link, only to take the clicker to a page riddled in pop-up ads and malware.

Forced follows, on the other hand, intentionally follow accounts while logged under your name in an attempt to reach a broader range of eyes to encourage them to follow a specific account. You may be hacked without knowing and come across the malicious account thinking it’s something you previously followed, but if it’s not entirely familiar to you, think again before clicking on that link.

The vast majority of people would agree that the most damaging reason a hacker gains control of their page is when they are in pursuit of personal information. From taking your passwords in an attempt to log in to other accounts such as personal email or bank accounts, to viewing and publicizing personal messages, it is a sheer nightmare to lose control of anything we have on the internet.

What Can I Do if My Account Has Been Hacked?

There are a few simple yet effective tools a person can take both to prevent a hacking, and to protect themselves from further damage when they find themselves in the middle of a hack.

Change your password. Change it often. Those “password strength” tools are there for a purpose, be sure to make use of it and create a challenging password with a mixture of symbols, numbers, and capital and lowercase letters. Use a different and strong password for each separate website that you use.

Make friends and family aware that you have been hacked. If they are receiving posts or emails from you that seem out of the ordinary but innocent in nature, they’ll be inclined to open them and risk infection of their accounts and computers as well.

Run your computer’s antivirus software so it can detect all forms of malware and attempt to remove them. If your account or computer takes a turn for the worse and is out of your control, be sure to contact the social media site directly by phone to inform them of the issue.

This may be common sense, but once you’ve regained control of your account, make your followers aware that your account was hacked, and if you know what source caused your issue, spread the word to help protect others who are potentially vulnerable to the same security issues.

Massive's Media Division publishes timely news and insights based on current events, trends, and actionable cross-industry expertise.