Chapter 6: What to do in case your social media account gets hacked

Getting your social media account is hacked is no longer something that you can easily avoid. Hackers are getting smarter nowadays and the volume of hacking attempts increased a lot over the years, especially during the pandemic. Here are some facts:

What do in case you get hacked

Table of content

Select the part you want to go towards or just start straight from the beginning.

Getting hacked on social media

1: Indicators to see if you have been hacked

A lot of things can happen once your e-mail account or any other social media is hacked. Somebody could have sent shamefull pictures to all your associates, somebody could use your e-mail to spam other accounts with malicious intent, the list goes on. There are a couple of steps you will need to take in order to get more safety back into your life:

How to find out if you have actually been hacked

You have to spot unusual behavior. Luckily nowadays social media warn you about unusual logins from unknown devices or locations. Take a close look at such notifications and in case you get worried, just go to the website yourself and change your password. Never click on the link in such emails as hackers are also fond of replicating such notifications. If you know how to get to the service or platform yourself, better not click on links.

Most often, you find out that you get hacked whenever you see post that you didn’t make or that you are unable to login into your account whilst you’re sure you got the right password. These are the clearest red flags, but there are more subtle indicators as well:

Did you change your password?

You received an email that mentioned you changed your password but you are sure that you never did that. Never click on the link in such emails, just go to the platform yourself and change your password there.

Unknown new friends

You suddenly follow all kinds of people that you never heard of before. Double-check if you have any common friends, but disconnect with them immediately as they might want to use your account to reach your real friends with spam or phishing messages

You get an enormous amount of advertisments

Suddenly you get all these messages of services you are definitely not interested in. Take a look at all the programs you downloaded or installed over the past few weeks, you may find un unwanted program.

You have trouble logging into your accounts

Somehow your password doesn’t work anymore and you are sure that you typed the right one a few times. Check if you are on the right website! Request a new password immediately and gain control of your account.

Helpful recourses

Have I been pwned?
Have I been Powned

This website checks if your email is already within a stolen database of the last few years. If you are in one of these, that means you have been Powned. Not to worry, you can follow the actionable steps on this page to optimize your account security. Make sure to subscribe for e-mail notifications, that way you stay up-to-date for future breaches!

This is a good free option as an anti-virus scanner. This scanner can provide protection against phishing and harmful websites by blocking them. Some of these websites get through the shield of the browser security so if you are looking for another layer of safety, you can consider this option. Beware of the fact that the best security, is your own careful behavior!

2: Going through a step-by step process if you get hacked

February 2, 2014

1: Change your password

The first thing you should consider to do when following this checklist. Now, find out if you use this password on other accounts, be it social media or others. Yes? Change them as well!

Do you find it hard to come up with a strong password? With a password manager you only need to come up with 1 good password and the rest will be taken care off! Take a look to find out how that works!

February 2, 2014
May 10, 2015

2: Sent an alert to associates or friends

Let them know that whatever happened during that brief period of time, in which you were hacked. messages will need to be double-checked if they actually came from you. Delete whatever didn’t come from you.

May 10, 2015
June 21, 2016

3: Monitor accounts and strange activities

See if anything weird happened since the hack. Especially keep an eye on your bank activity or insurances as those are the things criminals really like to gain access to.

June 21, 2016
23 March 2020

4: Enable two-factor authentication

Now that you succesfully regained control over your account, it is time to improve your security and make it harder for hackers to breach into your accounts again. Two factor authentication can be enabled on every social media platform, click here to see how it works.

23 March 2020

Hacks after regaining control of your social media account

Do you wonder what the effectiveness is of the prevention methods? Here are some files that can help you understand the importance of better protection online through two-factor authentication and password managers!

3: How do I do this for every social media?

Doing this for every social media can be problematic. No worries, we got you covered! Underneath we outlined the process of regaining control of each social media account. At first you can try it the easy way by using the ”forgot my password button”. Now should that not work, then here are some advanced guides on getting your account back to the rightfull owner.

Instagram

  • 1: Get help logging in

    If you are not able to login to your Instagram account anymore you need to tap op the ‘’get help logging’’ in button in the app at the bottom of the screen.

  • 2: Send login link & support

    Then at the same position, you see the button need more help? Click on that and proceed towards the ‘’send login link’’. This will bring you to the ‘’request report’’ page from where you can enter a request for support.

  • 3: Selecting e-mail & password

    Should your account be compromised, then your initial email should be inserted. It would be wise to change the email address to where you would sent your new login credentials as you are more likely to be safe on that email address.

  • 4: Upgrading security

    Congratulations! You should have regained control of your account at this point. Consider using two-factor authentication as this adds another layer to your security. Banks and other important services which hold sensitive information already use this, so why not do it here as well?

Facebook

  • 1: Seach for your stolen account

    There is a link called https://www.facebook.com/hacked. Click on my account is compromised to start the process. You will be asked to leave your email and phone number in order for Facebook to search for your account.

  • 2: Old or current password

    You will be asked to enter your current or old password. In either case just enter the one you know to be your password. If all goes well you can enter the ‘reset my password’ button.

  • 3: Creating a new password

    After selecting 'reset my passsword' choose a new option to send your login credentials as it is likely that the suggested options belong to the hacker. Fill in the required information and afterwards you should be able to regain control of your account.

  • 4: Upgrading security

    Congratulations! You should have regained control of your account at this point. Consider using two-factor authentication as this adds another layer to your security. Banks and other important services which hold sensitive information already use this, so why not do it here as well?

Twitter

  • 1: Not having access at all

    Select the ‘’I forgot my password button’’ and continue with the option that says: ‘’I don’t have access to any of these’’ referring to both email and phone number.

  • 2: Problem description

    This will send you to the ‘’login issues’’ page where you can can receive help for signing into your account. Write all the relevant information down and try to give a detailed overview in the tab of ‘description of the problem’

  • 3: Selecting e-mail & password

    Click on the button that verifies you are a human and you are set. Follow the instructions that are provided to you by email and you should be able to gain access to your account once again.

  • 4: Upgrading security

    Congratulations! You should have regained control of your account at this point. Consider using two-factor authentication as this adds another layer to your security. Banks and other important services which hold sensitive information already use this, so why not do it here as well?

Google

  • 1: Account support

    Click on account support and follow the steps that are described there to let Google know you are the rightful owner of the account.

  • 2: Security questions

    You will be asked to leave your email or phone number that you regularly use to sign in on Google. Followed up by questions such as the last password you remember and the try a different question.

  • 3: Upgrading security

    Congratulations! You should have regained control of your account at this point. Consider using two-factor authentication as this adds another layer to your security. Banks and other important services which hold sensitive information already use this, so why not do it here as well?

If hacked, make sure to report it!

If hacked make sure to report it! The numbers of social media hacks are rising and you will have learned all about the consequences at this point. There are instances in the Netherlands that can help you with such incidents such as

  1. FraudeHelpdesk Nederland.

Be sure to report your hack there and see if you can get any other sort of help if needed! This website is only a guide and served for educational purposes, it is not a service to help you regain access to your account. Here, you can find services that can help you with that.

End of the line!

You have reached the end of the line! This was the whole course of four chapters, and now it is time to test your knowledge in cybersecurity to see if you have learned something. Let’s see if you are ready to pass the test!

Social media security