You receive a notification that the password to your favorite social media account has been changed. Naturally, you try to log in to confirm and you can no longer access your account. You have no idea what the hacker is doing with your account but are sure the criminal is up to no good. Your reputation, identity, and personal information are now at stake and you need to do something urgently to recover your account.
Signs your social media account is hacked
Some hackers don’t necessarily log you out and block you from your social media account. They hope to use your account without arousing suspicion. You may be accessing a hacked account if you aren’t keen enough.
Watch out for the following tell-tale signs of a hacked account:
- The Sent folder has strange messages you didn’t send, or have been cleared
- Your friends and family have received emails or messages you didn’t send. Such messages often have random links or are fake pleas for money or help.
- Your account has posts you didn’t make
- Your account gets logged out while still in use.
How to recover your social media account
When you realize you can no longer access your social media account, or see abnormalities such as strange messages and posts you didn’t make, or a cleared Sent folder, you may have fallen victim to social media scams.
Your next course of action should be getting back into your account. To recover your hacked social media account, these steps can help you out:
- Scan and delete any malware on your device: Some hackers use malware to fish for your login credentials, so be sure to scan your device using reliable anti-malware software, and delete any unwanted software found.
- Change your password or use the “forgot password” option to regain access: Change your passwords immediately if you can still access your account after being hacked. If you’ve been logged out, use the “forgot password” option, or follow guidelines on how to recover your account.
- Set up multi-factor authentication: To prevent future hacking of your account, add another layer of security to your credentials by setting up multi-factor authentication. This may include having a code sent to your phone number or email to authenticate every login.
Do this once you’re back in your account
Once you successfully get back into your social media account, it’s time to assess the situation to prevent further damage. The following steps can help you:
- Check your account settings: Look for changes to your account settings since you last logged in, such as any new friends or links added. Be sure to restore everything to your preferred state.
- Take a look at your inbox: Hackers fish for credentials to important sites in your inbox. You’ll need to change them if you have any in your inbox.
- Track hacker activity: Check out the Sent, Trash and Deleted Folders for a clue to what the hacker was up to. See if the hacker sent any emails or messages using your account, and deleted them.
- Report misused information at identityTheft.gov: If the hacker sent any messages from your account for fraudulent purposes, be sure to let the authorities know.
- Alert your friends: Let all your friends know your social media account is hacked, so they can disregard any posts or messages the hacker might have sent them.
Protect your social media account from hackers
Always ensure all your social media accounts are protected from potential hackers through the use of strong passwords, multi-factor authentication, and safeguarding personal information. PeopleFinders has all the information you need to keep your accounts safe. Contact us for more details.