Your friends have been blasting your phone since this morning, and your mom wants to know what you have been up to, obviously, Facebook and WhatsApp are gospels of information for parents. They are always the first to know what goes down on social media. And now you have them worried that you have most certainly lost your mind.
Sounds scary right? This is just a snippet from- What happens when your socials get hacked?
Their worries are most legit as someone is receiving inappropriate videos from you, someone is being requested sums of money and whatnot. Who is the last one to know, it is often the person whose socials have been hacked. In this blog, we shall know more about the same.
Do you know?
A recent survey found out that 22% of internet users have reported that their online accounts have been hacked once, whereas 14% reported that their accounts have been hacked more than once.
What is hacking?
Hacking is most commonly defined as the act of compromising digital devices and networks by the means of unauthorized access to any account or system. It’s not always malicious but often hacking is associated with illegal activities done with a flimsy motive.
Who is at risk?
- Basically, everyone who has a social media account.
Yes, it seems wild but true, as everyone who has a social media account instantly is at risk of being hacked.
- Celebrities like Mariah Carey and Adam Sandler have been hacked as well.
- And we also see so many cases in the daily life of common people like us.
A picture of Mariah Carey’s hacked Twitter.
The motive behind every account takeover is different but still very similar. We will have a look at a few, the most popular ones:
1. Damage people’s reputation:
Some attacks like these are solely aimed to damage a person’s reputation. These attacks are more personal. The aim is not to gain something out of this but alone to vandalise the reputation of an individual.
This is another very common motive, often accounts are hacked in hope of gaining a particular sum of money from the other person, by holding their data as bait.
3. To conduct unauthorized money transactions:
Often accounts are hacked to make money transactions by scammers. This is one of the most common reasons for hacking.
How to know if you’re hacked?
Now that we know the motive behind accounts being hacked, it’s important for us to recognise signs that our account has been hacked.
Identification of an account that has been hacked:
- There are posts on your social media that you didn’t make.
- The sent folder on your socials is either empty or full of things you didn’t send.
- You counter problems in logging into your social media accounts.
- Your friends and family are getting sketchy links and also receiving fake pleas for help and money from your end.
Look out for these signs in your account, often these signs are visible and hopefully, someone or the other will inform you about these activities from your end. But as we always say, prevention is better than cure, so here’s how you can prevent a social media attack.
Stay ahead of threats and attacks:
There are ways one can try and prevent social media hacks:
1. Be aware of Public WiFi.
You should be aware of Public WiFi as after the connection is established the security messages are lowered. In some places we don’t even need a password, about anyone can get it.
2. Adding strangers to your social media.
Another danger that is self-created is recklessly adding strangers to your social media. This can pose a huge threat as any person you add, can have flimsy intentions and be in your social media account makes it a lot easier, as they have access to your rather private information.
3. Do not click on any random links and suspicious content.
One should always avoid clicking on suspicious content, or links even if they are posted by someone really close to you. Always verify before you click on a rather sketchy seeming link.
What are the ways to proactively prevent Social Media Hacking?
Now that your account has been hacked and you weren’t aware of these tips and tricks, that’s sad. But damage control is the next wise step if you couldn’t avoid the disaster on whole.
Here are a few steps one should take if their account has been hacked:
1. Immediately change your password.
Changing the password seems like the initial step, yet it is a crucial one. If you face issues trying to log back into your accounts, change your passwords ASAP.
2. Do not keep the same password for all socials.
Always try and keep different passwords for all of your social media accounts as it will buy you more time and be harder for the hacker. I understand it seems like a tedious task but you gotta do what you gotta do.
3. Update your security software.
After your account has been hacked immediately run a scan in your system with updated and well-reputed software. If the scan reports any malware, delete it and restart your device.
4. Always set up two-factor authentication.
Always, I repeat always check if your email or social media account lets you turn on two-factor authentication. This requires a password and one thing extra, like a code from the authenticator app, that ensures it’s only you.
5. Abrogate access to any third-party apps, especially those that seem shady.
You should never grant any third party access to websites or apps that do not follow that social media’s guidelines. Also, refrain from sites that lure you into free followers, likes etc, they are a major red flag.
Avoid the risk in future:
Once you’ve made your way back to your account make sure it doesn’t happen in the future. Try and do the following things so the risk of being hacked again is lowered :
1. The computer at a cyber cafe, your friend's phone aren’t yours.
Never treat a friend’s phone, system or random computer in a cyber cafe like it’s your own. Do not trust any device until it’s your own, do not let any web browser in there remember your password.
2. Always get softwares directly from the source.
Always make sure you get softwares from the source directly. Often sites that offer multiple software for no cost are at a high risk of including malware. Hence, always download softwares from the source directly, which is trusted.
3. Always update security software.
Make sure all your security softwares get updated automatically, as doing it manually can be laborious and often can slip out of a person’s mind so it’s advisable to set them on automatic update.
4. Protect your information.
Always make sure before you share your username and password with anyone. At Least never send it out in response to an email. Always go and look up the authentic website, if you aren’t convinced.
In conclusion, we can say that it looks like a trivial matter, but in actuality, it is a matter of concern as the damage caused when an account is hacked is humongous. The hacker can use an individual’s private information against them, to extract money or as simply as to harm their image, the former can use hate speech etc to also affect a business causing a competitor harm. We got to know of ways one can try and prevent such attacks and stay way ahead of their potential hacker.