What To Do If Your Twitter Account Is Hacked

It sounds like there is another Twitter hack making its way ’round today. If you think your account has been hacked — for example, you see unexpected Tweets from your account — then this is what you should do:

  1. Change your password (if you can).
    Log in, change your password from the password tab under account settings. If you can’t remember your password, use the password reset feature. Once you are “in,” implement a strong (upper and lower case, numbers, special characters; more than 8 characters) password that you have NOT used before.
  2. Revoke connections from third party applications
    After you reset your password, Twitter recommends that you review third party applications authorized to post to your account and revoke permission for any that you don’t recognize.
  3. Update password in third party applications
    Because you have changed your password, none of your third party applications (TweetDeck, TwitterFeed, etc.) will be able to access your account. You need to change your account password in those applications.
  4. Tell Twitter. Tell your friends that you were hacked but that you’ve locked out the hacker. Tell Twitter via a DM to @spam

That was “best case” scenario. But what if you can’t log in and password reset does not work? Then the first thing you should do is contact Twitter support from the email you used to create your account. Be sure to include the following information in your request:

  • Your username
  • Any email addresses you think might be associated with your account
  • The last date you had access to your account
  • The phone number associated with the account (if you verified your phone)

Next  step: create a new Twitter account as a temporary home.

  • Send a tweet to key followers; tell them that you have been hacked (and locked out) and ask them to RT.
  • Begin following your old account followers (at least key ones).
  • Periodically announce that this is your new Twitter home.
  • Track your old account.
  • Wait for Twitter to advise you on what it will do about your old account.

Resources:

Follow me (@kegill) on Twitter!

4 thoughts on “What To Do If Your Twitter Account Is Hacked

  1. Permalink  ⋅ Reply

    clippershiptravel

    February 23, 2010 at 8:25am

    That’s great information. Did you know there were a few ways to actually follow (with one click) all the people from another account? Using tweepml.org, you can create a list of your favorite Twitter friends now – and then if there’s a problem you can follow them all with one click, too.

    There’s a bunch of tips like yours in a report called TwitterGlitch. It even lists all the people at Twitter you should contact and where the different Twitter help desks are set-up.

    Thanks for posting that.

    I hate having Twitter problems – but I always say “I’ll take the occasional problem, if they’ll keep it a free service”.

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