Help! My [insert web site] account has been hacked!

We at GSG Labs have seen a rise in requests to assist civilians in getting back their Facebook or other social media accounts. One similarity stands out in every case – the accounts were originally created using old, nearly forgotten Hotmail accounts.

If you have any accounts that were created with a Hotmail account and haven’t changed the password in years, it may be time to fast forward into the 20-Teens and update your information.

First, change your password. Now. Just do it.

Second, use a new email address. Gmail is most popular and would be generally safer from data breaches. You could go ultra secure and create a [free ] [ encrypted ] ProtonMail.com or Tutanota.de catch-all account for your family’s social media accounts and general family communications.

Third, enable two-factor authentication for your accounts that offer the service. This forces the site to send you a code when you want to log in that is required to complete the login process. It’s a bit of an extra pain, especially for a site you access often, but it’s less painful than waking up to the reality that your account has been hijacked and is being used to spread extremist propaganda.

Fourth, do a clean sweep of your accounts. If you’re using the same password in more than one place,  you’re making life easy for hackers. Make your password at least harder than ‘abc123’ and ‘123456’. If you really wanted to use something easy so that you won’t forget it, try blending your easy password with the domain name of the site you’re visiting:

twitter + abc23 = tawbict1t2e3r

Then, capitalize the 2nd letter letter and throw in a special character at the end:

tAwbict1t2e3r!

and now you’ve got an easy password system to generate unique passwords that you can remember.

Stay safe out there!

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s