It can happen so easily. Clicking the wrong link, downloading a seemingly harmless file, or logging in to what you thought was a legitimate site you’ve used before can compromise your login information and grant hackers access to your Twitter account.
You can take all the precautions in the world and still get hacked. It happens to the best of us. The Associated Press even got hacked and caused the stock market to lose hundreds of points after the hackers tweeted that the White House had been attacked.
What To Do If Your Twitter Account Is Hacked
If You Can Still Log In
Step 1: Change your password ASAP. Use numbers and letters in your password if you’ve not done so already.
Step 2: Make sure that the email address associated with your account hasn’t been changed. Changing your password but leaving your email address as “firstname.lastname@example.org” means that someone could just request a password reset and it will go straight to their email address instead of yours. This is of particular concern with websites like Twitter where you can log in with your username in addition to your email address, and therefore may not notice if your email address has been changed.
Step 3: Review any third-party apps that may be connected to your website. A third-party app can continue to access your account even if you change your password through Twitter’s API. Revoke the access to any third-party apps you don’t recognize. While you’re at it, revoke access for any apps you no longer use.
Just go to Twitter, click on the cog on the far right item in the top menu and click ‘settings’ from that drop down menu and then click ‘apps’. If there’s something there that you’ve not used Twitter with you need to revoke access. Be extra careful if logging into any third party apps or sites.
Step 4: Activate Twitter’s two-step mobile verification.
Step 5: Delete the offending tweets and apologise to any affected. This may mean sending lots of direct messages or a public apology, depending on how bad the incursion was.
If You Can No Longer Log In
If you can no longer log in, you’ll need to request a password reset from Twitter. However, if the hacker changed the email address associated with your Twitter account, this reset request may not come through. If it doesn’t, you’ll need to fill out Twitter’s “Hacked account” form. It might be a more painful process if you don’t have access to password resets via email, but rest assured you’re not the first person this has happened to – and Twitter’s gotten fairly good at dealing with this.
Once you’ve regained access to your Twitter account, make sure you go through the steps above to prevent further unauthorised access to your account.
And remember to read our article ‘How to avoid being hacked on Twitter‘ so that it doesn’t happen again.