Social media accounts like Snapchat are a blast to have until someone gets hold of your password somehow and hacks into your account. When a malicious user takes control of your online identity on a social media platform hijacked, it can be scary. They can destroy your reputation and steal your personal information, and it may seem like you’ll never get your account back. However, making your social media accounts more hacker-resistant IS possible, and if you’ve already fallen victim to a hacker, there are ways to get your accounts back again.
In this article, I’ll walk you through how to make your Snapchat account (and your other social media accounts) more secure, and how to recover a hacked Snapchat account if you’ve already been victimized by a hacker.
How to Avoid Hacking
First, let’s talk about how you can prevent this from happening to you in the first place. Account protection starts with a strong password. Consider the following tips for creating one.
- Make it at least 8 characters long
- Use a combination of letters, numbers, and symbols
- Use a combination of upper case and lower case letters.
- Do not use any common words or phrases (hackers can use programs that can quickly guess every word in the dictionary)
- Do not use a birthday or other personal information as it is possible the hacker has personal information about you before they attempt to hack your accounts
- Do not re-use passwords across multiple accounts because that will enable a hacker to hack more than one of your accounts at once
Once you’ve come up with a strong password, be prepared to do it again…and again. In fact, you’ll want to change your password regularly.
If that sounds daunting, consider getting a password manager such as LastPass or 1Password. Password managers make it easier to organize and remember complex and highly-secure passwords, so you do not have to memorize any passwords. Most security experts now recommend a password manager for managing secure passwords for all your accounts.
Another approach is to have “modular” passwords that you can rotate through on an easily-remembered, but not easily-guessed, schedule.
How to Tell If You’ve Been Hacked
It seems like it would be easy to tell if you’ve been hacked, right? After all, wouldn’t the hacker just change your password and permanently lock you out? However, it doesn’t always happen that way. Hackers don’t always want people to catch on that their account has been hacked, at least not right away, so you may have a window of opportunity to change the password before the hacker does.
The sooner someone realizes what happened, the sooner they can do something about it, thus interfering with the hacker’s agenda. Many hackers prefer to quietly get access to the account and then continue to collect information about you while you continue to use the compromised accounts.
Here are some signs that your Snapchat account might have been hacked.
- Your friends tell you that they are receiving spam snaps and messages from your account
- Your friends tell you that they are receiving messages asking for money or personal information from your account
- You receive an alert that someone has logged into your account from a different location
- You receive an alert that account information has been changed
- You notice that the mobile number or email address associated with your account has been changed.
- You notice other account settings have been changed
- You have new contacts in your friends’ list that you don’t remember approving
- You’re asked to re-login every time
- You suddenly are unable to login to your account
If you suspect that you’re account had been hacked, take immediate action to recover your account from the hacker.
What to do If You Suspect Your Account has been Hacked
Don’t waste time trying to confirm whether your account was hacked. If you suspect it was, then go ahead and take action immediately. It won’t hurt to take action one way or the other. If you suspect hacking, perform the following steps to secure your account.
- Change your password immediately
- Make sure that your account recovery contact information is accurate
- Notify your friends that you might have been hacked in case the hacker is using your account to get to them
Of course, you may know for a fact that you’ve been hacked and be unable to login to do anything about it.
What if You Can No Longer Access Your Snapchat Account?
If you can’t log in to Snapchat, don’t worry. There are a couple of things you can do to get your account back. First, try to get it back the old-fashioned way by going to your login and tapping Forgot My Password. There’s a good chance that if the hacker thought to change your password, then he or she also changed your account recovery information. However, there’s a chance they didn’t think to do that, and you’ll be able to reset the password using your email or phone number.
If that doesn’t work, contact Snapchat Support to plead your case using the following steps.
- Go to the Snapchat support page at https://support.snapchat.com
- Select Policies & Safety
- Select Report a safety concern
- Select I think my account was hacked
- The support team will first direct you to try Forgot My Password. Assuming you’ve already tried that and it didn’t work, select Yes next to Still Need Help.
- Select No when Snapchat asks, “Were you able to reset your password or log back in?”
- Fill out the form that appears as accurately as possible the Send it
The Snapchat Support Team might grant you access to the account again, allowing you to create a new password. However, they will only do this if they are satisfied with your answers in the form. They need to be certain that the account you’re trying to access is actually yours.