Help is on hand if your account is hacked on Twitter

It’s everyone’s ‘nightmare’ to have their Twitter account compromised, being used for purposes other than those intended!

The reasons why someone is targeted is perhaps less straightforward to explain than actions to take if your Twitter account is hacked.

As I happened to be caught up in one Twitter user’s ‘nightmare’ the other day I thought it would be helpful to write this post, highlighting what can happen and what to do if your account is compromised.

I received a DM (direct message) from a Twitter account which was inviting me to view something via a link. I thought it looked dodgy, so sent a message to the account holder to alert them, which resulted in an exchange of Tweets as they dealt with the possible hacking issue.

The Twitter user, featured in this post, was ‘on the ball’ and swiftly dealt with the issue, following the guidelines  you’ll find below.

Here’s some guidance as to possible scenarios you just might encounter that would indicate hacking of your Twitter account, with tips on what to do to try to address the issue.

If you find you can’t log into your account

It might be that someone (or something) managed to gain access to your account and changed the password. If this has happened then first:

  • Try to recover your password via the log-in area, in which case you’ll get an email from Twitter allowing you to reset your password.
  • If ‘enemy’ activity has also replaced the email address used to recover the password, then there’s noting more you can do. Contact Twitter to request help in getting  your account back.

You see messages that your account Tweeted, but you didn’t write

  • Delete the posts immediately.
  • Change your Twitter password
  • If your Twitter account links to Facebook, then make sure you delete tweets that appear there too.

An App you have installed starts to post on your behalf

This can sometimes happen after you’ve ‘liked’ an App, so start by disabling them.
If, when you check in your Twitter account, you don’t know/are unsure about App then remove it. Delete all posts from that App as well.

You find you’re following new people you don’t know about

It could be that your account has been hacked and your account is being used to follow spambots. The reason for this is to create a chain effect, helping spread the malicious URLs  (web addresses contained in links) to more people.

If you notice you’re following all kinds of accounts, but you’re not sure why that’s happening,  change your password immediately.

Your Twitter account is sending DM’s

DM’s are direct messages which you can send to people who follow you. As there is often a certain level of ‘trust’ between people who follow one another, it’s more likely those who receive a DM will respond to it. Therefore, if there’s a link in the message, it’s quite likely people will click on it; you appreciate the potential issues here?

  • As above, action to take – change your password.
  • It might also be a good idea to erase all posts made in the time under suspicion and to Tweet to your followers about the issue, so that they are warned away from clicking on dodgy links.

Useful Twitter links providing guidance on hacking/account compromise

If you should run into difficulties then Twitter does provide some clear guidance within their ‘Help’ pages.

My Twitter account has been compromised – Help!

My Twitter account has been hacked – Help!

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