What to Do If Your Social Media Account Gets Hacked
In a previous blog, we listed tips to avoid being scammed on social media. Unfortunately, no matter how diligent you are, there’s always a chance you may be the victim of fraud or identity theft. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) reported that social media was the most profitable method of communication for scammers in 2021, with the profits from social media scams outdistancing the profits from website or app scams by more than $215 million. With so much potential for profit, it’s no surprise scammers continue to lurk on social media.
If the worst should happen and your personal information is compromised, how can you minimize the damage?
Signs You May Have Been Hacked
If you aren’t sure if you’ve been the victim of fraud or not, here are some signs that your account may have been hacked:
- You notice posts on your social media account that you didn’t make
- You aren’t able to log into your account
- You are notified that your password has been changed or that someone has logged into your account from a device you don’t recognize.
- Friends or family tell you they’ve received messages from you that you did not send (often with malware links or requests for money)
- You find messages in your Sent folder that you didn’t send
What to Do Next
If you’re reasonably sure that your account has been hacked, follow these steps to take immediate action and minimize damage.
- Change your passwords: When you change the password for your account, make sure it’s not already being used for another website or app, and that the password itself is complex enough that it cannot be easily guessed. Additionally, you should enable multi-factor authentication whenever possible, as this will provide an extra firewall between you and another fraudulent attack.
- Review your account: Check for any major changes since you last logged in, including new “friends” in your network, financial transactions you didn’t initiate, or posts you didn’t write. If necessary, notify members of your network who were potentially contacted by the scammer and explain the situation.
- Follow instructions provided by the social media platform: Most platforms have a process for reporting a suspected hack and securing a compromised account. We’ve pulled together quick links to instructions for the most commonly used platforms: Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter and Instagram.
Pro Tip: If you’re an existing AAA member, you have access to social media monitoring at no extra cost to you! Simply log in to your AAA Identity Champion online portal and connect your social media accounts to receive privacy risk and reputation risk alerts.
- Report fraud to the FTC: If you’re certain that your information has been used fraudulently, file a report at IdentityTheft.gov.
No one expects to be the victim of identity theft, but if the worst should happen, you’ll be relieved to have experts in your corner. AAA Identity Champion not only offers preemptive credit and social media monitoring but with the Protect and Complete plans, you can access identity restoration support and identity theft insurance1 to help you recover from identity theft as quickly as possible.
1The Identity Theft Insurance is underwritten and administered by American Bankers Insurance Company of Florida, an Assurant company under group or blanket policy(ies). The description herein is a summary and intended for informational purposes only and does not include all terms, conditions and exclusions of the policies described. Please refer to the actual policies for terms, conditions, and exclusions of coverage. Coverage may not be available in all jurisdictions. Review the Summary of Benefits.