Almost everyone in the world has a social media account. Most of us have had one for a decade or more. We use it to talk to friends, share images, stories, and sometimes, our deepest secrets.
Well, what would happen if you woke up to a hacked account? It would be a nightmare turning into a reality because you can lose much more than access to the account. You can lose your reputation and your identity.
The Scary Statistics
The scariest thing about social media is that, on average, 1.4 billion accounts are hacked every month. Since there are 5 billion people in the world with at least one account, there’s a one in five chance you’re next.
Google discovered that at some point, 20% of all social media users will be hacked. That could happen slowly or all at the same time. For example, bad actors succeeded in breaching 30 million Facebook accounts back in 2018. Another claim was made in 2021 when a hacker tried to sell data from 1.5 billion accounts.
Facebook and Instagram are on top of the list when it comes to queries on Google for how to recover a hacked account. That’s completely justified since 85% of Instagram’s and 25% of Facebook’s users had compromised accounts.
And then there’s the infamous LinkedIn breach of 2021, where 750 million people got their usernames, emails, and personal data exposed.
Why Are So Many Social Media Accounts Hacked?
The primary motivation behind every social media account is money. You can buy hacked social media accounts on the dark web for as little as $6. Or, you can use hacked bot armies to increase your followers artificially. For example, a hacked LinkedIn account costs $45, while a hacked Facebook costs $14.
Targeting high-profile individuals also works wonders when making a quick buck. During the crypto craze a few years ago, people like Kim Kardashian, Bill Gates, and Barack Obama got
hacked to promote a Bitcoin scam. The same thing happened to Vitalik Buterin, one of the co-founders of Ethereum.
How To Prevent Your Social Media Account From Getting Hacked?
Business owners and business accounts are the biggest targets. Since getting hacked is nearly unavoidable, here are some things to ensure you have a tough account to breach. That might force cybercriminals to move on to someone else.
Use Strong And Unique Passwords
Weak passwords are the biggest cybersecurity vulnerability. It’s obvious, and it’s right in our face. Yet, people keep making the same mistake over and over again. They use their last name, ‘password,’ ‘1234567’, or their dog’s name instead of a secure keyphrase.
Whenever you need to create a password, use symbols, numbers, uppercase and lowercase letters, and don’t go for a keystroke pattern. Make an original password for every account because you don’t want a hacker to gain access to everything if they crack one. And finally, use a password manager if you don’t want to remember them all.
Ignore Suspicious Links
At least once a day, you’ll see an ad or an annoying link that interests you. It could be the copy or the marketing around the ad, but something is definitely fishy. The page it leads to is suspicious, yet you feel compelled to click and see what the offer is about.
Even though it may seem harmless, a link is a gateway for phishing attacks, malware, and hidden viruses. Turn on your spam blockers or an ad blocker to avoid such situations.
You can also use a premium online VPN that alerts you when you click a malicious link or download a malicious file. A tool like this can help to protect your identity and makes it harder for cybercriminals to target you.
Don’t Log In On Different Devices
You should use public devices for public purposes. Whenever it feels unavoidable to log in to your accounts, remember that someone could be watching everything you do. Any hacker can access your account if they install a keylogger on a public device. Don’t do it.