By Princess Jones
“Hey, I think something is wrong with your Twitter account. It’s been posting a lot of crazy stuff for hours. Are you OK?”
If you’ve ever gotten a message like that, you know the cold sinking feeling of realizing that your account has been hacked. Realizing that you’re not in control of the posts from a social media account can be terrifying. Hackers can post your personal information, inflammatory messages, SPAM, or even actively attack your followers. You have a lot to lose — reputation, sales, and followers. So, act fast as soon and take back your hacked Twitter account.
Change Your Password
Any time you see something weird going on with a social media account, it’s time to do a password reset. Log into your Twitter account and click “Settings and privacy.” Click “Password.” Enter the current password and then enter your new one twice. (Choose something that isn’t easy to steal.) Click “Save Changes.”
If this solves it, consider enabling login verification. With it, if someone gets your password and logs into your account from a new device, you’ll be sent an email asking to approve it before access is granted. Login verification is under Settings > Account > Security. Click the box next to login verification. Consider also requiring personal information before allowing a password reset by clicking the box directly below.
There are only two ways someone can tweet from your account. Either they have your password or they have an application with the necessary permission to tweet from your account. So if you are still in control of your account and can reset the password, the next step is to review your account permissions.
What exactly are permissions? Every time a website or app has asked you to sign into Twitter so that it can access your account, that’s you giving it a permission. Permissions can vary. Sometimes it’s just the ability to see your username and/or profile picture. Other times, it’s the ability to tweet as you. It’s very important to read what permissions you’re granting before you click the “Accept” button.
Go to Twitter > Settings > Applications. On the right side of the screen, you’ll see a list of applications that you have given access to your account. Do you see any there that you don’t recognize? Start with that one. If you want to be safe, revoke access on all of them. (If you find that you need them, you can always reassign access later.)
But what if you can’t change the password or revoke permissions because you don’t have access to your account at all anymore? Well, then it’s time to get the Twitter help team involved.
Go to https://support.twitter.com/forms and choose the option for hacked accounts. They’ll open a ticket and try to use information associated with the account to verify you as the rightful owner of the account. Just remember that it might take a while to go through the process because it involves back and forth with the help team at Twitter. There are no guarantees that it will be resolved to your satisfaction but you’re in the best hands possible at that point.