Beware of Snapchat Scams and Hacks: How to Keep Your Account Secure
Snapchat is one of the most popular social media platforms that is used to send photos or videos to friends. Like other social media apps, Snapchat also has some shortcomings that may allow an attacker to hack Snapchat accounts. Finding out someone has hacked your Snapchat account is violating, and can cause a lot of stress and anxiety. Thus, it is important to know how the account can get hacked and how you can protect your account from being compromised. We have also discussed how you can try to get your account back if it has been hacked.
Indicators/Reasons Behind a Snapchat Account Getting Hacked
1. If the password to your Snapchat account is something that is very common and can easily be guessed by hackers then they will be able to hack your Snapchat account and do whatever they want to do with it. When this happens, the user’s confidentiality will be lost as the hacker will gain access to all your photos and videos. Thus, you should always select a strong password with a combination of numbers, symbols, and lower and uppercase letters.
Some users use the same password for many social media accounts. This can be dangerous. Always try to keep your passwords different for different accounts as it will lessen the risk of your account being compromised.
2. When an attacker has cracked your password and got into your account, they can go to settings and change the email to their own. If they do this, you won’t be able to access your account as the email id and phone number associated with it will change. You will receive a notification that the mobile number/email ID linked to your account has been changed which means your account has been hacked. If the hacker enables 2-factor authentication then the original user will never be able to access his/her account.
3. Your Snapchat account might have been compromised if you get a notification that someone from a different device and state/country has logged into your account.
4. If you notice that you are being asked to log in to your account every time, it might mean your account is hacked. This is because Snapchat accounts can only be used on one account and thus the user doesn’t have to log into his account again and again. However, if this is happening, then someone else is using your Snapchat account on another device.
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Ways in which Snapchat accounts are hacked
Hackers keep searching for backdoors or any weaknesses that exist and may have been missed by developers to exploit them to hack into unaware users’ accounts. Snapchat accounts can be hacked in quite a few ways.
1. Guessing the easy passwords is one of the most common ways in which a Snapchat account can be hacked. Hackers try multiple passwords until they breach the targeted account.
2. Hackers can easily access public WiFi and exploit unsuspecting victims on public networks. If you use public WiFi always use a VPN that encrypts your online activity. This will prevent the hackers from accessing your information.
3. Phishing is when hackers send messages to individuals in an attempt to get them to click a link, send information, or even send money. In terms of Snapchat, a phishing attempt will be someone you don’t know DMing you on another social media channel and asking for a Snapchat username. Someone might send a message on Snapchat with a link or file they want you to click on.
4. One of the most common ways of getting hacked is unknowingly downloading malware or spyware. Hackers can use many ways of infecting your devices with spyware, including phishing attempts or using public WiFi. Spyware apps are mostly hidden on your hacked computer or phone so you won’t even realize you have one. If the spyware app gets installed on your device, the hacker will be able to see when you open your Snapchat account and save the messages, photos, and videos you send to your friends.
5. Third-party data leaks have happened in the past and on Snapchat as well. Third-party data leaks often result in leaking users’ passwords and associated usernames, phone numbers, and emails. The information becomes available online and anyone can use it to get into your account.
6. Keylogger apps being downloaded onto a device is also a way to breach his/her privacy. A keylogger is a tool that tracks every keystroke made by the user. Using a keylogger, one can record whatever text you type with your keyboard. Hackers set up keyloggers on your devices and get your account ID and password if you don’t use a password manager.
7. A brute force attack is a common hacking method in which an attacker bombards a login page with 1000s of different passwords until it finds the correct one and logs you in. Easy-to-guess passwords like abcd123 or 123456 are among the first to be tested so they can be decoded in seconds.
Ways to Keep Your Snapchat Account Safe
1. Using antispy softwares can detect when your devices have unknowingly downloaded spyware or malware.
2. verify your phone number and email ID on your Snapchat account as it will allow the platform to email or text you if any changes are made to your account.
3. Don’t run after making your account popular at any cost. Only add people as friends if you know them and trust them. This is because when you add someone to your Snapchat friends list, they gain access to your username and can send you messages which might lead to hacking if the person is a fake.
4. Keep your privacy settings up to date.
5. Change your Snapchat password regularly to keep your account safe. Anytime you suspect that your account has been hacked, change the password immediately if you can. Make sure to choose a strong password that is tough for hackers to crack.
6. If someone has overtaken your account and you can no longer log into it, try using the option, ‘Forgot Your password’. The hacker might have guessed your password but they likely don’t have access to your phone or email. If you can use Forgot your password, you can reset it and kick out the hacker.
7. Enable 2-factor authentication to restrict your account.
8. Keep your devices updated. If hackers jailbreak your device to install spyware, an OS update might remove these apps as they are mostly unauthorized.
9. Keep your devices safe. Don’t leave it with people whom you don’t trust. Employ biometric security to ensure that it is harder for criminals to get into your devices.
10. Operate online with caution. Don’t click on any unknown links and while you are using a web browser, hover over links before clicking on them.
Recovering a Hacked Snapchat Account
The first thing to try when you realize that your account has been hacked is resetting your password. It is the fastest and easiest way to get rid of your unwanted visitor. Request for a reset link using SMS or email. If you can do this, then focus on making passwords strong and privacy settings up to date.
However, if you can’t change your password, here is what you will have to do-
- Google search ‘Snapchat support’ and you will be taken to the official support page of the platform.
- Choose the option “I think my account was hacked”.
- Key in your username, email, phone number, and details about why you think your account was hacked. Click on “Send”.
- Someone from the Snapchat team will get in touch with you with further instructions and help you resolve the issue.
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