Photo Credit: pexel
Unfortunately, the hacking of social media accounts is more common than you might think. According to some estimates, at least one in five people have had at least one social media account hacked, and one in seven have had two or more social media accounts hacked. So stop waiting around for Facebook, Twitter or Instagram to give you a warning message about a potential hack. By then, it’s already too late. Here are some proactive steps you can take immediately.
1 – Change and update your passwords. This might seem like a no-brainer, but too many people fail to update their passwords on a regular basis. Even worse, they tend to re-use the same passwords for all of their social media accounts. Thus, once someone has hacked your Facebook account, it’s only a matter of time before they attempt to hack your other social accounts with the same password/username combo. On the Dark Web, these password/username combos sell for pennies.
2 – Alert others in your social network. If you suspect that you have been hacked, you have a responsibility to protect others in your social network. At the very least, let friends and family know that they shouldn’t be clicking on “80% off Ray-Ban sunglasses” promotions that show up in their social feeds.
3 – Lock down your financial accounts. Hacking your Facebook account might only be the start of your problems if hackers use the personally identifying information in that account to hack your financial accounts. For example, even though banks typically ask security questions like “What was the name of your high school,” this might be easy to guess from the various Facebook groups you belong to. And don’t forget to adjust your privacy settings. Some content and information should only be available to your closest friends and family, not to the general public.
4 – Sign up for multifactor authentication whenever possible. Yes, yes, it’s an extra hoop to jump through, but multifactor authentication is a proven technique for dissuading cyber thieves. Hackers might have your basic Twitter account info, but as long as they don’t have your phone, it won’t be possible to hack into your account.
5 – Keep up to date on the latest scams and malware threats. You don’t have to turn into a cybersecurity expert, but you should have a basic understanding of how online scams work, and which ones seem to be proliferating across social media. For example, if you trade or invest in crypto, you should probably have a good idea of the latest Bitcoin scams, like all the “crypto impersonation scammers” who claim to be a famous celebrity on social media in order to get you to hand over your money to them.
By following all of the above steps, you can minimize the chances that a hacker will be able to break into your social media accounts. At the very least, you can stop hackers cold in their tracks if they are trying to steal your social media identity for financial gain. They might be able to deface your Instagram page, but they won’t be able to get to your financial assets.