These tips come from the Think Before You Click - #ThinkB4UClick awareness campaign during European Cyber Security Month in October 2021 across the European Union, organised by the European Cyber Security Agency (ENISA), the European Commission and Member States, including the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg.
Here are some signs
- You have trouble logging into your account
- You get a message saying your account password has been changed, but you didn’t do it
- You see posts that you didn’t write
- You are suddenly following lots of people you don’t know
- You see a login from an unusual location
- You receive lots of ads that feel like spam
What does it mean?
The consequences of someone hacking your account depend on how much personal information you share e.g. your date of birth, address, names of family members - your information could be used to access your other accounts or steal your identity.
What to do?
If you can still access your account:
- Change your passwords. The scammer may have your password so change it to a strong password with at least 15 characters including upper and lower case letters, numbers and symbols.
- A passphrase may be easier to remember. This could be a sentence that includes unusual words, or words from different languages.
- You should also change login details for any of your other accounts that use the same or similar username and password. This includes applications linked to the social media account.
- Use a unique password for each account.
- Make your account more secure. Look for the security and privacy settings where you can find tools to protect your account
If you are unable to access your account:
Follow the provider's account recovery process if you are completely locked out. All of the main providers have a process in place to recover your account, go to their help centre for advice.
- Notify the provider that your account has been hacked. This will help the provider track scams and improve security.
- Report the fraud. Your information may help catch the fraudster and prevent further incidents. To find out where to get advice and to report the crime in your country, visit https://cybersecuritymonth.eu/cyber-first-aid
- Tell your contacts that your account was hacked. Your contacts may receive messages or see posts sent from your account, which contain fraudulent links or misleading information. Let them know that it was not you who posted or sent the messages so that they do not click on any links.
- Share your experience with family and friends to help protect them