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My account got hacked

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  2. Hacked Accounts

From time to time, a social media or email account may be intercepted by malware or someone you know. If this happens to you, most platforms have an account recovery process you can follow to regain control of your accounts. As well as following the instructions, we’d recommend reviewing passwords for all online accounts you use and changing those with the same or similar passwords. It’s always worth running anti-virus and anti-malware scanning software after hacking to ensure that nothing has infected your device.

Unfortunately, hacked accounts fall outside our project; however, if your social media account has been hacked, don’t panic; there are steps you can take. Most platforms have an account recovery process you can follow to regain control of your accounts.

It is important not to confuse hacked accounts with impersonation accounts and ensure you use the correct reporting routes. If an additional account has been created using your exact name and image, but you still do have access to your current account, this is called impersonation or online impersonation, and you can find more information on reporting impersonation here.

Sometimes, a fake account may be created to impersonate or target a person. Fake profiles are often created to cause distress, assume a different identity (catfishing) or as a parody. Fake social media accounts usually breach a platform’s terms and conditions and can also be reported.

If your account has been hacked, it is likely that you will be logged out of it and will no longer be able to regain access to it or log back in. This may have been carried out by someone you know or by someone you don’t know via malware (software specifically designed to disrupt, damage or gain unauthorised access to a person’s computer).

You might see an element of fraud-type activity once the account has been hacked. The account may message your friends and family, encouraging them to invest money into a Bitcoin account or various spamming deals; they might also upload these messages onto your profile in the hope that people will believe this is you. If this is to happen, we recommend contacting Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 for further support and advice.

If your account is hacked and, as a result, abusive comments are made, this could be a form of malicious communication (communication sent to cause distress), which can be reported through us and to the police on 101.

If someone posts offensive messages because of who you are or who they think you are, this could be considered hate speech (abusive or threatening speech or writing that expresses prejudice against a particular group), and these should be reported to the police as a hate crime. The police can follow guidelines for law enforcement about how to gain evidence from social media to support ongoing investigations.

Reporting and Recovering Hacked Accounts

Find out how to report and recover hacked accounts on commonly used social networking sites below:

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