Suddenly the phone rings and your best friend asks you why there is crazy stuff on your twitter account….
You get an email from a business partner asking when you started partnering with company XYZ to post their advertisements…
You’re twitter followers drop by 1000 in one day …
You start seeing things on your twitter wall with your name on them that you didn’t (and never would have!) wrote….
Steps To Take When Your Twitter Account is Hacked
Step 1: Don’t panic.
Seriously, I know your heart is racing and your stomach hurts when your twitter account is hacked, but generally this is an easy fix. Also assuming you’ve built a good relationship with your followers, they will understand and be on YOUR side!
Step 2: Change Your Twitter Password
Assuming you are able to log into the account (if you can not, see below). Log in. In the upper right navigation area you have a “Settings” link. Click it. Now in the upper middle click the link the the “Password” section. If you cannot remember your password, you go to the password reset area, to have your password sent to the e-mail on your twitter account profile. once you have logged in successfully, it’s time to change your password to a secure password. A strong password is one that uses a combination of upper and lowercase letters and numbers special characters and is longer than eight characters in length. Preferably it does not include any word you may look up in the dictionary. Also, be sure not to use any password you have ever used before.
Step 3: Remove Software Connection Rights
Well this may sound tricky is actually made very straightforward by twitter. While still logged in and understanding near where you found the “Password” tab/link, there is a tab labeled “Connections”. here you find a variety of applications you have given permission to access and work with your twitter account. Many of these are very useful and you won’t want to remove all of them. However, go through this list and identify any that you don’t recognize. Underneath the application name you will find a small link that says “revoke access”.
Software bugs do happen, and if a trusted application begins posting unwanted messages it does not always indicate hacking has occurred. Sometimes software does go awry however, and need it’s permission removed until the bug is fixed.
Step 4: Update Your Password In Any Twitter Client or Softwar You Use
Any trusted application or widget that you use to access twitter, or display twitter streams, likely has a safe copy of your password. It is important to change your password in these utilities so they do not repeatedly tried to connect and cause your account to become temporarily locked.
Step 5: Breath A Sign of Relief!
You are done! You may wish to go to the profile tab in the upper navigation of your twitter account and read through the posted tweets and delete those that are spam. On your profile page, when you hover over a specific tweet, you will find a delete icon becomes visible near the right hand edge of the tweet box. Having your twitter account hacked is stressful, but with your new secure password and by avoiding dangerous connections with application you do not recognize, you will be able to stay safe and generally prevent this in the future. Some people also suggest sending a brief e-mail to twitter support (email@example.com) to let them know that you were hacked but have regained access to your account.
What If I Still Can’t Log Into My Account My Twitter Was Hacked?
Step 1: Request A Password Reset
Ideally you want to try to reset your password on your twitter account yourself, using the twitter password reset tool. If you have multiple e-mail accounts, you may need to check them all to find out which you had registered to your twitter account.
Step 2: Contact Support
Contacting support (firstname.lastname@example.org)for this purpose can only be done with the e-mail account created your twitter account from or currently have registered to that account. Even though the account may be yours they will not give you access to your twitter account from any email that is not currently in their file. (This is for your protection!) Here is an easy-to-use form they suggest you use.
Be sure to include in your request:
- Your username
- any e-mail addresses you think might be associated with your account
- the last date you have access to your account
- the phone number associated with the account (if your verified your phone number).
Having your twitter account hack can be incredibly stressful and scary thing. Hopefully these steps help you regain access to your twitter account after you’ve been hacked and also help you prevented in the future! You can find some really great tips on how to stay safe on twitter by checking out Twitters Safe Tweeting Guidelines.
If these tips helped you I hope you’ll share them with others! A Tweet, Digg or Facebook Share helps others find this information and I really appreciate it! I hope you’ll leave a comment and share your experience with Twitter with me!