Just like other social media platforms, Snapchat is often a target of hackers and scammers who just love the opportunity to take over accounts for nefarious reasons. While no one wants to be the target of a hack, it’s good to know the steps to take to determine if your account has been compromised. If you think this may be the case, read on, and be sure to check out How to Get a Hacked Account Back in Snapchat — another useful article if you’re concerned that someone has hacked or otherwise compromised your Snapchat account.
Hackers have already directly hacked Snapchat itself. In 2013, approximately 4.6 million users were compromised by an overall hack of Snapchat. In 2016, Snapchat’s payroll details were compromised. In 2017, a group of hackers claimed they had stolen 1.7 million user details, but thankfully that was a hoax. While Snapchat has responded to each of these attacks with their own security measures, it’s still very possible for individuals users to have their accounts hacked.
We all have to be on our guard when online. Regardless of what social network we use, who we use for email, what websites we are members of, or what we do while online, every one of us has to be careful. It’s important for all of us to safeguard our accounts, choose strong passwords, and to be aware of the risks of hacking and scamming. Make sure you limit your use of shared devices, and never share your password- not even with yourself! One of the easiest ways for hackers to ruin your life is by using a weak password on multiple websites. It’s also a good idea to check in on your various accounts frequently to ensure there’s no fraudulent activity, and make sure you log out of accounts you don’t use frequently!
How to Tell if Your Snapchat Account Has Been Compromised
There are three ways you can tell if a social media account has been hacked or otherwise compromised.
- Unusual activity
- You will regularly be logged out for no reason.
- You may see more emails from Snapchat asking about your logins or activity.
The bad news is that you’ll only notice these signs if the hacker is actually using your Snapchat account. If they hacked it to harvest your personal details, you may not see any of these signs. You will instead begin to see more emails from banks, credit companies and other financial organizations as your identity is used for nefarious means.
Unusual Activity in Your Snapchat Account
Spotting unusual activity is usually the first sign someone else (i.e., a hacker) is using your Snapchat account. If you see snaps that aren’t yours, new friends you didn’t make or you are suddenly following people you didn’t follow, your account may have been compromised. These signs may be easier to spot if you are regular Snapchat user as opposed to an occasional user.
Having to Log in to Snapchat All the Time
Usually, a Snapchat login will last a while. At least until you manually log out, restart the app or reboot your device. Once in awhile, your account may be logged out due to an app or device glitch, but if you find you keep having to log back into your account, it may be a sign that someone else is logging in and forcing you out. It isn’t definitive by any means, but it is definitely a sign that you need to investigate further.
Unusual Notification Emails from Snapchat
Snapchat does what it can to monitor account activity and will notify you via email if any changes are made to your account. If the username or password is changed, for example, you will see an email. If someone logs in from a completely different location, Snapchat should detect that and alert you.
If you begin seeing these kinds of notifications, you need to take action.
How to Stop a Hacker Using Your Snapchat Account
If you suspect that your Snapchat account has become compromised, you first need to secure the account and then find out how it was compromised. Log into Snapchat as soon as possible and change the password. Then enable two-factor authentication as an extra safeguard.
- Log into Snapchat from here
- If your password is still valid, change it immediately
- If your password has already been changed, use the Forgot Password link and change it
If someone accessed your account to change the password or associated email address, you should have been notified before the system allows the change to be processed.
Once you have changed your password to something complicated but memorable or used your password manager to come up with something good, go ahead and enable two-factor authentication. This will add either an Authenticator App step or SMS verification to the login process. From now on, when you log in you will have to enter a code from the app or SMS message. It is an extra step but means it is almost impossible for a hacker to access your account if they don’t have your phone.
Once your Snapchat account is secure, take the time to do a little investigation of your own to see how they got your details. Check that your email is secure, never leave your phone or device unattended, and make sure you use unique passwords for every account and use two-factor authentication wherever you can.
Here are some general recommendations to keep your Snapchat and other social media accounts more secure:
- Make your password 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 as there are hacker programs that can easily run through every word in the dictionary when trying to guess your password
- Do not use a birthday or other personal information, as it is very possible the hacker already has personal information on you to help them hack your account
- Do not re-use passwords across multiple accounts because that will enable a hacker to hack more than one of your accounts at once
- Use a password manager such as 1Password or LastPass to manage your Snapchat and other account passwords
Have you ever been hacked? How did you handle the situation? Tell us about your experiences in a comment below!