Prevention is always better than cure. But if your social media is hacked, here are a couple of simple ways to get social again, writes Craig Brigg.
The most popular method of cyber attack is the social media hack, and the popular platforms include Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Snapchat. Hackers are constantly looking for new ways to access your personal information and steal your passwords, and one out of five users have been hacked.
Here are some of the important signs of being hacked:
• You receive an email that you have changed your login details, but you haven’t.
• You have difficulty logging into your accounts.
• You suddenly receive a flood of spam.
• Your account is creating new posts and content — and it’s not you.
• You see or hear of another account that is using your name and/or your photos.
If you’ve been targeted, here are some ideas to get back on your social media feet:
1. LOG INTO YOUR ACCOUNT AND CHECK ACCESS
If you are concerned that your media channel has been compromised, check that only your email and phone number is associated with your account. Often an added phone number or email will be used to change your account’s password, and you will lose complete access and control.
Facebook: In the security and login section, review Where You’re Logged In and log out of any sessions you do not recognise. If you cannot access your Facebook account, try sending yourself a password reset email, and recover your account through your registered email address. If you still have trouble, report your account and follow the steps as directed to regain access.
Instagram: If you’ve already tried a password reset to no avail, contact Instagram directly and work with them to recover your account.
2. IMPROVE YOUR PASSWORD AND ENABLE TWO-FACTOR AUTHENTICATION
The main reason that hackers access your account so easily is that people use simple passwords, and reuse passwords for multiple accounts. Make your password strong and unique. It is suggested that you also enable two-factor authentication, an extra layer of security. This might involve a PIN code that is sent to your phone, a security question that only you know the answer to, or even something about you.
3. RESTRICT ACCESS TO EXTERNAL APPS, AND REVIEW YOUR ACCOUNT PERMISSIONS
During the process of updating your account information, you should check the list of apps that you are using through your social media accounts. When you use your social media account to log in to another site or app, you often end up sharing a lot of information, which creates a potential vulnerability. If that app gets hacked, the hackers now have the info to get into your other accounts as well, and gain even more information about you. If you see any apps that you no longer use or that do not belong to you, revoke their permissions.
4. TAKE YOUR SYSTEM SECURITY TO THE NEXT LEVEL WITH AN ANTIVIRUS
Robust AV software stops malware before it can download on to your system. It also flags malicious websites that could lead to your social accounts falling prey to cybercriminals.
5. TAKE HEED OF SITE-SPECIFIC RECOMMENDATIONS FROM YOUR SOCIAL PLATFORMS
Social media sites have their own recommendations on how to keep your profiles secure. Check out these links to make sure you’re following the best practices to protect your account on each platform.
As social media continues to evolve, it will continue to be a playground for cybercriminals looking to steal your personal information.
Following these five simple tips will help to keep your personal accounts secure.