What happens when your Twitter account is hacked? The hacker may start sending malicious links, spam and direct messages to your followers. She or he may start spamming on others’ followers with tweets you wouldn’t even dare to send. In other words, a hacked Twitter account may mean major damage to your reputation.
Twitter account hacked
When my Twitter was hacked a while back, my account sent out tweets saying, “Check out this link for easy money <link here>”. I never indulge in such activities so it was a tough time explaining those tweets to people whose timeline was spammed.
This article talks about what to do when your Twitter account is hacked and how to prevent people and/or apps from hacking your Twitter account.
If You Can’t Sign In To Twitter
If you cannot sign in due to the hacker changing your password, you can click on Forgot Password. Clicking on the link will send you an email to the email ID registered with Twitter. This email will contain instructions on how to reset your Twitter password.
If Twitter is not recognizing the email ID you entered, you need to notify Twitter about the account being hacked. On the page, you will be asked for your Twitter username, the email ID that was associated with your Twitter account, whether you associated a phone to the Twitter account and the date/time when you last signed in. Based on this information, Twitter will try to retrieve your account login information so that you can log in and reclaim your account. You can check out some more Twitter Sign in help tips here.
Change Your Twitter Password
If you can access your account, log into Twitter and change your password. Go to the Account Settings and click on the Password tab. Enter a new password that is a minimum of eight characters and contains numbers and special characters. Also, do not set passwords that you have used earlier on Twitter. This is because, the apps authorized to use Twitter on your behalf may remember the old passwords and if one of those apps is responsible for the hacking of your Twitter account, the account will again get compromised.
Clean Up Twitter
After changing the Twitter password, delete all the tweets and DMs that were sent using the hacked account. This done, you may also want to apologize to people who suffered spam due to the hacked account.
The next step would be to review the apps that are authorized to use Twitter on your behalf. Check out the Apps enlisted in Settings. Remove any app that you do not remember authorizing. While you are there, you may also want to remove apps that you are not using anymore.
Scan Your Computer For Malware
One reason why your account may be compromised may be malware residing on your computer. It is better to scan your computer using some anti-malware. You may use a good antivirus software to check the computer for malware.
Prevent Your Account From Being Hacked
You can prevent your Twitter account from being hacked by taking some precautions. First of all, you need to keep your password strong. No company will ever ask you for your password. If you receive an email or phone call asking for your credentials, never give them the details.
Do not click on suspicious links. You may be receiving several links a day. Before clicking a link, make sure the links lead to a clean website. Often, people use URL shorteners on Twitter, making it difficult to guess which site the links are leading to. You can check out the link details using third-party applications. For example, wheredoesthislinkgo.com tells you the destination of shortened links. You can bookmark one of the link expanders and check the links before clicking on them.
When providing apps with Twitter details, make sure you know that the apps are safe and do not have malicious intentions. If you do not know about any app, you may research it on the Internet. Almost every app on the Internet has reviews about it. You may choose to allow or block apps based on the reviews of the apps.
The above answers what to do when your Twitter account is hacked. It also talks about how to prevent your account from being hacked. If you have any tips, please share it with us.
Post dated 3th July 2012 updated and ported from TGC
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