At a time when most of us are living in a virtual world, where we are connected to our friends and family mostly through social networking sites, imagine what it would be like to find your social media account hacked!!
That’s exactly what happened with 50 million of Facebook users on the afternoon of 28th September, when they found their accounts to be hacked. While life seemed to have come to a standstill for most Facebook addicts, the rest were worried about the consequences of their accounts being hacked. Regardless of whether you are a Facebook addict or an infrequent visitor, hacking of your account can have disastrous after-effects.
Profile Change – To begin with, once the hacker has gained access to your account, he or she can change your profile to anything their heart desires. This can mean changing your normal account to someone with terrorist links or something even beyond your imagination.
Post/Upload Things – This can especially be a shocking revelation for users who love to flaunt their personal pics on social media sites like Facebook. Your account once hacked, can make it a cakewalk for hackers to upload, post or share images and other such stuff that in-turn can ruin your reputation forever. In the recent past, there have been several cases where a user’s account has been hacked and their private pictures have been circulated through the internet.
Forced Shares – This can be really scary not just for you but mostly for your account contacts. The hacker may just share a link on your behalf to some website which has an enticing title to it, while tagging many of your friends. As a matter of fact, your friends may be tempted to open the link, totally unaware of the fact that your account has been hacked. The website link may instead open to a page full of Trojans and malware that can pose risk for their own accounts.
Forced Follows – Your hacked social media account can be used by the hacker to force people into following a particular account. This account may have a fake brand name and the hacker may just be trying to use it to tempt people into following a page that can spread malware.
Information Theft – This is probably the worst thing that can happen to you, in case your account gets hacked. Hacking into your account can provide the hacker easy access to your username and password. The hacker can use this same information to sign into your other accounts like your bank account or other social media accounts, to mine more details about you.
Simple things you can do to protect your Facebook account
Use complex passwords – As a rule, choose a unique password for your Facebook account, something that you don’t use for accessing other accounts. Make your passwords strong and complex by mixing upper and lower cases, numbers and special characters.
Stay away from phishing emails – At times you may receive fraudulent emails from an authentic-sounding company, providing you a link for uploading your personal details. A good way to check its authenticity, is to search for the specific website URL online instead of clicking the link provided to you on email.
Check source of download – The internet is filled with dozens of websites known as “warez websites” meant especially to carry Trojan horses. Thus, whenever you are downloading something onto your computer, be sure to check the source of download.