- Every 2 out of 5 Americans have been victims of hackers taking over their social media accounts
- Cybercriminals can hack nearly all social media accounts, from Google to TikTok, accessing sensitive information and personal data
- Users should tighten their online security to prevent hackers from getting into their accounts
The fear of getting hacked is real, and it seems to be rising all around the world. October is celebrated as National Cybersecurity Awareness Month (NCSAM) to highlight the importance of cybersecurity. To commemorate Cybersecurity Month 2022, Phone Daddy brings you tips to protect your social media accounts. You’ll also find quick and easy ways to restore your social media accounts after a hacking attempt.
How to Protect Your Social Media Accounts From Hackers
Since precaution is better than cure, you should take steps to protect your online privacy and tighten social media security. Whether you have a brand-new Samsung Galaxy S22, a used iPhone 13 Pro Max, or a refurbished Google Pixel 6 pro, you can use it to follow the tips mentioned below and keep your accounts safe.
1. Choose a Strong Password
Cybersecurity 101: pick a strong and unique password for all your social media accounts. Don’t make it predictable (we’re looking at you, you 1234567890 user). You should choose a password containing a mix of digits, letters, and special characters to make it complicated enough for hackers. Avoid using dictionary words and reusing old passwords.
2. Enable Two-Factor Authentication (2FA)
Enabling two-factor authentication adds an additional security layer to your social media accounts. It uses two methods to verify your identity before letting you log in. Since we have access to our smartphones at all times, we can easily let ourselves in. But if you’re not trying to log in and get a notification on your used iPhone 13, you can quickly take steps to secure your account and keep the hacker out.
3. Enable New Device Login Alerts
If you have these alerts turned on, you’ll be notified whenever someone logs in from a new device. It could be you or a hacker. So, if you get a notification via email, text, or the app, you can quickly protect your account before the hacker can take over.
4. Think Twice Before Clicking on Links
Your mother wasn’t wrong when she said, “don’t take candy from a stranger.” Suspicious links from shady accounts are the digital equivalent of a stranger giving you candy, and you should NOT take it.
Over 75% of targeted cyberattacks start with an email containing a shady-looking URL. If you have the slightest doubt about a link, don’t risk clicking it.
How to Restore Your Social Media Accounts
Thankfully, it is possible to regain access to your social media accounts in most cases. Unless the hacker has excessively manipulated your account, like changing your username and contact info, you can recover your account.
The steps to restore your social media accounts vary from platform to platform, but they follow a general pattern. In most cases, you can regain access by resetting the password. But sometimes, you must prove your identity to the account recovery department of that specific platform. If nothing else works, you can get help from representatives of these platforms.
Below, we have explained the steps to recover your social media accounts, including Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat.
If you have forgotten your Apple ID or password, here’s what to do.
Restore Your Facebook Account
If your Facebook account has been hacked, follow these steps to recover it:
- Go to facebook.com/hacked from your computer or mobile device.
- Click My Account Is Compromised.
- Enter your email or mobile number on the next page.
- Log in with your current or old password on the next page.
Even if the hacker has changed your password, you can take your account back using your former password.
If this doesn’t work, you can send an email to one of the addresses it has on file. This should work even if the hacker has changed the current contact email.
Another way to rescue your Facebook account is through the No longer have access to these? prompt. When you click on it, Facebook will check other ways to identify you, like if you’re logging in from a location or device, you’ve used before. So, if you use the same iPhone 13 Pro Max unlocked to log in to your FB account that you always use, Facebook may let you in.
If none of these work, you’ll be asked to upload any of the thirteen ID types, including your driver’s license, passport, green card, etc.
Rescue Your Instagram Account
Follow these steps to recover your hacked Instagram account:
- Go to instagram.com from your computer.
- If you cannot log in using your username and password, try the Log in with Facebook option.
- If it doesn’t work, click on Forgot password.
- Enter your registered email address or username on the next page.
- You’ll receive a login link via email or a code via text.
- Click on Reset your password in the email or click the link in the text and enter the code you received.
- You’ll be taken to a new page for entering a new password. Choose a strong one.
If this method doesn’t work, enter your login info and click Can’t reset your password? This will take you to Instagram’s help page. Click on I think my Instagram account has been hacked. Then, scroll to Request a security code or support from Instagram and follow the instructions you see on the screen.
Retrieve Your Snapchat Account
If your Snapchat account has been compromised, follow these steps to recover it:
- Go to the Snapchat login page on Google Chrome or Microsoft Edge.
- Try logging in using your username and password.
- If they don’t work, click Forgot password.
- Verify your identity by entering your email address or registered phone number.
- You’ll receive a link to reset your password via email or text.
This method works even if the hacker has changed your Snapchat account information. Snapchat always sends an email to your old email if your account info is changed. If someone has changed the details, you can click on the link in the email, and Snapchat will undo those changes.
Social media is a significant part of our lives; we share almost everything online. While it makes our lives easier, it also increases the risk of our information reaching the hands of someone who can misuse it. So, you must be vigilant in tightening your online security and protecting your social media accounts.
If you have been a cyberattack victim, you can get your accounts back from the hacker if you act instantly. But it’s better to be safe than sorry, so try the tips to protect your social media accounts and prevent hackers from getting into your accounts.