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February 15, 2010

What To Do If Your Facebook or Twitter Account is Hacked

Unfortunately, this scenario is a reality for all of us who use social networking — it’s not a matter of IF your Twitter or Facebook account will be hacked, but simply WHEN. I’ve been on the receiving end of messages from my friends whose accounts have been hacked. The message typically compliments me on some body part or requests me to click on a link to view a video of myself. Also, there are usually a number of misspellings in the message.

Be very careful when you get those kinds of messages, even when they are coming from trusted friends who would normally not engage in this type of behavior. Many of the messages are linked to a virus or some type of malware that either infects your computer or will gain access to your account and send all of your friends and followers spammy messages. If you do slip and click on one of these links, pay attention to what your virus scanning software tells you, especially if you get a security warning about a site.

If your Twitter account is hacked:

  1. Visit Twitter’s information page for problem resolution.
  2. Log out of Twitter
  3. Clear your browser cache (your browsing history and cookies and private info) and close down your browser.
    1. For Internet Explorer: Go to Tools — Internet Options, and then click on the “Delete” button under Browsing History. Check all of the boxes (except InPrivate Filtering data) and click on the “Delete” button.
    2. For Firefox: Go to Tools — Clear Recent History, and then click on the down-arrow next to “Details”, check all of the boxes, and select “Everything” for the time range to clear.
  4. Open a new browser window, log into Twitter, and change your password. You can also use the Twitter password reset feature to set a new password before logging in again.
  5. Visit your settings page and check your Connections. Revoke access for any third-party application that you don’t recognize.
  6. Submit a support request to let them know you have taken all of the proper steps to reset your account and to request that your direct messaging capability be restored. You can also include info on any statuses that weren’t posted by you in the body of the request.

7. Update your password in all of your third party applications as well. If a third party application (like Facebook, Twitterrific, Twhirl, etc.) is trying to use your old password to access your tweets, it will lock you out of your account.

If your Facebook account is hacked:

  1. Visit Facebook’s information page for problem resolution.
  2. If you are still able to access your login email address, then use the “Forgot your password” link to prompt an email from Facebook with a password reset code. If you can’t access your account, then use the link above.
  3. Clear your browser cache (your browsing history and cookies and private info) and close down your browser as described above.
  4. Your account could also have been phished/hacked by a phishing web site, worm, or malicious software. To ensure that all is safe again, refer to the “Warnings” section on Facebook.

Take care when using Twitter and Facebook. Trust your intuition, and if something doesn’t look or feel right, ignore it or delete it before clicking on it. You will have probably saved yourself hours or headache in trying to restore a hacked account.

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6 Responses to “What To Do If Your Facebook or Twitter Account is Hacked

    avatar What To Do If Your Facebook or Twitter Account is Hacked | Did You Know ... says:

    […] Post from: SiteProNews: Webmaster News & ResourcesWhat To Do If Your Facebook or Twitter Account is Hacked […]

    avatar Kay says:

    I work for an online retailer and we have a company profile on both Twitter and Facebook. Few months back our Twitter account was hacked. I did all the above steps, but till now my tweets haven’t started appearing in public timeline. Infact a search on company’s name yields to no result. I left a ticket at Twitter support, but didn’t hear back from them.

    what do you suggest should I do?

    It has happened to me with google. Some people have copied all content of my website. I have reported it a few times, but I have never heard from them. You just have to approach those who hacked your comments.

    […] What To Do If Your Facebook or Twitter Account is Hacked […]

    avatar Gabriel says:

    We’ve had twitter accounts hacked before but in our cases they almost always change the password. Maybe we just have eviler then usual hackers. The best advice we have learned is simply to use unusual characters in your usernames and passwords. Spelling out stuff with weird characters will usually stop 99% of hackers. Hope this helps and good luck!

    Great advice, it really sucks when an account with so much personal info gets hacked. I’m glad you are helping people out.

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