Help! I’ve been HACKED!


Hacked? It’s safe to doubt that. There’s a huge difference between being the victim of a hacker and having your information compromised by a phishing attempt. Most often, that’s all it is. These information thieves will try to gain access to your Youtube (Google) account by getting you to click a video via dm that says something along the lines of “is this you?”. Don’t click it. It will only take you to a website that looks like Youtube (but isn’t) and you’ll be asked to sign in. Once you do, the sneaky buggers, having logged your username and password, will now have access to your Google account (Gmail, Blogger, Maps, YouTube, etc.). That’s typical phishing. The good news is – it’s avoidable.

Phishing works the same way on Facebook and other social media platforms. Phishing attempts are also done by sending an attachment via e-mail, so if you’re not familiar with the sender or are leery about opening an attachment, don’t do it. Contact your friend to be sure it was them that sent you that file.

Just like you should be weary of websites, the same goes for applications (apps). A lot of apps are malicious little things created for the sole purpose of gathering information to sell to other border-line criminals.

Now find and destroy!

For apps:
Typically, you just need to locate your settings, find where the Apps section is, and revoke access to anyone or any site on that list. Then, for added security, change your password. Use a password that you haven’t used before and not your name with birthdate or anything that these sites may already have on file for you. Stop giving access to apps to sign into Facebook for you. Always sign in yourself or allow your browser to ‘save password’ for you. Your browser has all your usernames and passwords for website visits stored safely.

It’s highly unlikely that anyone’s Twitter or Facebook account was truly hacked. It’s usually just phishing attempts. If it were actually hacked, then the hacker would have had to go through the servers of the website in question (Facebook or Twitter) and if they did, your little account would be the last thing they would want to compromise. They’ve already gotten to the big fish, so why would they bother with a little minnow like you? Your information could still be compromised but that’s the risk you take when giving any information to any site. Even banking information isn’t safe online, as many banks are the target of hackers. We as users and consumers take the risks though because, well we like the convenience. Sometimes, we don’t really have a lot of options.

How to avoid being the victim of phishing:

Just don’t click suspicious links, even if they come from friends. Ask them about it first. Verify with your friend that it is indeed them and that the link is safe.

Slam the door on spammers:

In the case of spammers using your account to run ads on your timeline or gain clicks to a website, this usually comes as the result of you, at one time, having given some website’s app approval to do this. Again: Revoke access and change your password. If on the platform, unfriend them. Report them. Block them. The tools are available to you.

The next time a website asks you to “sign in with Twitter or Facebook”, just click “No, thanks” or hit the back browser. It’ll feel good. Try it. A legit site will offer you to sign into their site directly, with a simple sign up form.  They can gain access to your Twitter or Facebook account if you specifically allow them or if they happen to figure out your password. If you’re a bit of a goof and tend to click things without reading first, be sure to periodically check your settings on Twitter or Facebook (look for “apps” or “applications”) to make sure you haven’t allowed anyone access to your account. Again (I guess I can’t stress this enough): Revoke access, if unsure. For added security, change your password, as well.

Stay Cyber Safe!

Feel free to spread the word.