How to Avoid Your Social Media Account Getting Hacked

31808829_m small We manage social media accounts for clients and so we monitor social media trends closely. Lately we’ve noticed a negative trend that’s important to YOU: spammers and hackers who are able to take over your accounts. We’ve seen it happen to enough people that I want you to read this post and change your passwords immediately.

If you’re like me, you’ve been on LinkedIn and Twitter almost since inception.

Back in the day, Twitter really was about telling people where you went for lunch and what was top of mind at that moment. LinkedIn was just a networking site to stay connected to people you really did know. Passwords were trial: your pets’ name, your favorite sports team, and your mother’s maiden name.

Now social sites are a reflection of who you are.

They’re seen by millions of people from those you know to prospects, potential employers, and more. Gone is the Six Degrees of Separation theory and social network privacy.

You can’t afford to have your profile hacked by anyone. That means, change your passwords and choose passwords that are difficult to hack.

Here are some password setting tips followed by instructions on how to change your passwords on LinkedIn and Twitter. Keep in mind that I’m a salesperson, not a geek. You can definitely find more password hints and more technical explanations than mine, but you’ll quickly get the picture about how serious your password is!

Password setting hints:

  1. A good password should contain a mix of capital and lower-case letters, numbers, and symbols.

  2. Passwords should not include base letter-number substitutions like the number one substituted for the letter “L.” Dictionary attacks use dictionaries of common words to quickly break those passwords.
  3. Choose a long password. The longer it is, the harder it is for automated hacking software to brute force break it.
  4. Where passwords require a specified maximum length or types of characters, use a password generator like LastPass to further encrypt your password. When companies specify exactly how you must create your password, hackers can use pre-computed rainbow tables for reversing cryptographic hash functions to compare strings of digits and break your password.
  5. Never use the same password for multiple accounts. That’s just giving everyone permission to hack you.
  6. Change your password every 60 days. I know it’s a pain in the posterior. But it’s your reputation we’re talking about.
  7. Don’t use your, pets’, family, sports team, or mother’s maiden names. (I just had to say that again in case you missed it the first time.

How to change your password in LinkedIn:

You can change your password from the Privacy & Settings page.

  1. Move your cursor over your photo in the top right of your homepage and select Privacy & Settings, or just type https://www.linkedin.com/settings into your browser.
  2. Click Change next to Password in the upper left.
  3. Enter your old password, type your new password, and then type it in again to confirm it. Note: Passwords are case-sensitive and must contain at least 6 characters.
  4. Click Change password.

How to change your password in Twitter:

You can change your password from the settings page.

  1. Move your cursor over your photo in the top right of your homepage and select Settings.
  2. Click Password on the left.
  3. Enter your old password, type your new password, and then type it in again to confirm it.
  4. Click Save Changes.

Now that you know how to change your passwords, do it. Right now. This minute.

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