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How to Protect Your Social Media Accounts from Being Hacked

Businesses and brands of all kinds have one common challenge: the attention market. It isn’t about having the best product or the best service. Before any of that, it is about getting eyes on your brand. People can’t buy from you or support your business without knowing about you, and, unfortunately, this can be one of the most challenging aspects of getting started as a business.

It is also one of your greatest assets. There is a reason why influencers are so powerful in today’s world. Having a large audience means having eyes and ears on you. You can make an entire career out of that audience alone, without ever selling anything directly.

Regardless of whether you are a business, a brand, a service, or an influencer, you need to protect your social media accounts from being hacked. They are your greatest marketing tool and building up a large, active following is worth its weight in gold. To protect that gold, you will need to use this guide:

Protect Your Business

While personal accounts are very low targets, those with high follower counts are at a big risk of being hacked simply because the benefits are so lucrative. Business accounts of all types need to do more than keep their apps updated and use unique passwords. 

They need a full, comprehensive approach to their digital security. Businesses of all types can benefit from managed IT services and support, especially if you don’t handle an IT team internally.

Never put your business at risk because the second that one area of your business falls, others can fall as well. What may start as an internal issue can quickly spread to your customers or to your social media, where a hacker can quickly decimate your reputation and digital presence. While an internal hack may be cleaned up afterward, if the attack causes damage to your presence and reputation, you may never recover.

Use Two-Factor Authentication

On top of having IT support to protect your business as a whole, you will also want to take advantage of the available security features. One of the most popular ones is two-factor authentication. Always set this, and require a one-time-passcode to be sent whenever a new device uses your login or attempts to log in.

Use Unique Passwords and Change these Often

You should use unique passwords for everything. If you use the same password for every platform you have, then you are making the task of hacking very easy. A hacker could steal that login information from another account you completely forgot about and then use those login details to gain access to your email and your social media accounts and do their damage that way. This is why changing your passwords every so often to something unique is so important.

Never re-use a password

The number one way hackers access social media accounts is through re-used passwords, says Troy Hunt, a web security expert who created a site that allows users to see if they've been caught up in data breaches.

So how does it happen? If you're like me, your old passwords are all over the internet. When I typed in my email address to Mr. Hunt's search engine,
HaveIBeenPwned, it appeared 12 times.

When we sign up for a new account or service online, our details are often recorded and stored in databases.

Over the years, hackers have broken into many of these databases and obtained all sorts of details about us, like email addresses, passwords, names and addresses. Lists of these details — or "credentials" as they're often called — are then bought, sold and traded on the internet.

What to do if your social media accounts are hacked

So, what do you do if your account has been hacked? Or you see something else strange like Peter did when his account was cloned?

When Peter reported the cloned account, it was taken down in less than half an hour. Whatever the problem is, it’s likely you’ll have to verify your identity, whether via phone, email, or other means. It's a problem that social media companies deal with all the time, which means the process is streamlined.

Stay on Top of Which Apps Have Access to Your Accounts

You need to know what websites and apps have your information, particularly the ones that are linked to your email or social media. The good news is that social media sites and mail companies like Google make this easy. If you don’t use the app or website anymore, then unlink it. Similar to having your password stolen, having your accounts linked to a vulnerable app or site can also cause problems in the future.

What phishing is and how to avoid getting caught out

Even if your social media passwords are strong and secure, your accounts can still be compromised.

"If you've shared passwords with your friends, and then you're finding odd stuff on your account, you've probably not been hacked. It's likely that the person you've trusted with that password is using it," says Susan McLean, a cybersecurity expert, and former police officer. It's obvious, but if you've shared your password with someone else, your account is never going to be completely secure.

It's an issue that often comes up in cases of domestic violence, Ms. McLean adds.

"We know that online issues are present in about 98 percent of domestic violence cases. It's a very common way to create harm and havoc in someone else's life," she says.
Another risk is what's known as phishing: when hackers try to trick you into giving up your account details or information using deception.

James Daniels 
Business enthusiast, a bit of a tech buff, and an overall geek. He is also an avid reader, who can while away hours reading and knowing about the latest gadgets and tech, whilst offering views and opinions on these topics.
How to Protect Your Social Media Accounts from Being Hacked Reviewed by Guest Writer on Monday, September 13, 2021 Rating: 5

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