Account Takeover & You – Social Media Edition

Stay Aware Stay Safe June 23, 2022
illustrated image of an online profile and a fraudster running away with the password.


Account Takeover & You – Social Media Edition

For most people, social media accounts are either the highlight or the lowlight of the internet. 

Regardless of how you feel about Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, etc, if your credentials are compromised, it’s easy for a fraudster to pretend to be you. Fraudsters like to ask your Aunt Karen to send over “emergency money” that you’ll never get.

Each social media platform has its own methods to keep your login credentials safe. Many have multi-factor authentication you can turn on (you should). This additional layer of security can help keep your email, password, and other data safe. So, it’s important to ensure your social media accounts are secure, just like your email or bank login info.

The best way to protect yourself is to regularly change your passwords for your social media accounts. These logins should also be distinct from your streaming, banking, and shopping accounts. Using a password manager can help you create and save unique passwords. Many also help you avoid password reuse. Most regularly notify you if you are using the same password across multiple sites. 

Unfortunately, all social media accounts are susceptible to Account Takeover. We all need to be vigilant when a friend reaches out through Facebook Messenger in the middle of the night about a flash sale on Rayban sunglasses. If you think a friend or family member has been a victim of Account Takeover, it’s important to reach out through a different method or messaging platform. It’s possible that their Facebook or Instagram account has been faked by a fraudster. It’s easy for them to copy a profile picture, add a few photos, and start sending friend requests. This is a case of Phishing and a different kind of social media fraud.

Social media account takeover is common. Using a unique password for each account truly is the best way to keep your accounts safe.