Writecombination Social Media
by Andrew Knowles

Help! My Twitter account has been hacked!

First you notice that your follower numbers have dipped. Then you spot an incoming tweet from a contact, warning you that your account is spewing spam. A quick visit to your Direct Messages box confirms the bad news that your Twitter account has been hacked.

Hackers want the capability to send out messages in your name. That’s because your Twitter name has a value - it’s trusted by many of your followers and they take an interest in the tweets posted by you, or by someone pretending to be you. 

The bonus, for hackers, is that many of your followers also choose to receive Direct Messages (DMs) via email or text message. This increases the chance of their spam tweets being read, and of someone clicking the link they’ve chosen to share.

Not all hackers are distant and faceless. Your account could also be hacked by someone closer to home, like a friend, family member or someone from work or school. You may have shared your password with them, or worse, your password might be very easy to guess.

How to spot a Twitter hack

If you think your Twitter account has been hacked, take a look at the DMs that it’s recently sent out. To do this from your Twitter homepage, click ‘Me’ (the head and shoulders image) and then the envelope symbol just below the header picture. Here you’ll see the most recent DMs sent and received.

If you didn’t write the outgoing DMs, your account has been hacked. 

Other evidence of being hacked is that someone has added or removed followers, or blocked followers. 

How to recover from a Twitter hack

The first action to recover the situation is to change your password. You’ve probably heard the current advice about passwords - keep them long (10 characters at least), with a mix of upper and lower case characters, numbers and symbols. Avoid using complete words and don’t apply the same password to all your accounts.

It’s a wise precaution to also change the password on the email account associated with your Twitter account.

If you can’t get into the account to change the password, use the password reset options. If you can’t even do this, get in touch with Twitter support.

The next step is to revoke permission on some, or all, of the apps you’ve allowed to access your Twitter account. One of these could well be the source of the hack. Click the ‘cog’ symbol and choose ‘Settings’. Select ‘Apps’ and revoke access for any app in which you don’t have complete trust.

You’re now in control of your Twitter account, and identity, again. The next step is to recover from the damage done by the hack, and to do all you can to make sure it doesn’t happen again.

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ashlyn fielden
Posts: 10
I need help with a hacked twitter account
Reply #1 on : Mon September 09, 2013, 19:38:47
When I try to log in, Twitter tells me it doesn't recognise my username, email address or the mobile number I used with my account. This happened to my old Twitter account at this exact time last year and 'Twitter Help Center' was no help at all, I didn't receive any information back to help me recover my account. I am an extremeley active Twitter user and rely on Twitter for a lot of things. Last time, due to no help I was resulted in re starting my Twitter which I will NOT do again. This is supposed to help me and I would appreciate it so, so much if you got my Twitter back up and running for me. Also, I just checked my email address account and I have received an email from Twitter saying that some details have been sent to the new email address I want my twitter account to be associated with, I didn't do any of this so I now know this is a hacker, this happened this time last year and I received no help, I really need my account back!

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