Help! I’ve been Hacked!

As an online service provider who uses social media on a daily basis within my business I should have known better, but something happened to me last weekend that I wanted to share with you, mainly because I had quite a few requests from followers on Twitter asking how to secure their twitter accounts once they had been compromised.

It was a lazy start to the day last Sunday when I picked up my smartphone and noticed a DM (Direct Message) professing to be from one of my followers.  It stated “Someone said this real bad thing about you in a blog….” I am very proud of Coffee Not included :-D – I was horrified at the thought, I guess my ego kicked in and so I immediately opened the DM and THAT is where my nightmare day began.

Consequently on opening the DM I knew as soon as the link appeared  that I had opened a proverbial can of worms.  It was not a genuine DM but a virus and within minutes my followers then received the same message and their accounts had been breached – I was very upset!

So although hindsight is a wonderful thing, let’s just say I’ve learnt a valuable lesson.  I felt the next best thing I could do was to let you guys know how to secure your Twitter account should the unforgiveable happen.

#1 Change your Password

Please change your password immediately from the Passwords Tab in your Account Settings. Please select a strong password you haven’t used before.

#2 Tweet your followers

Tell them that it’s a virus and ask them not to open it and be human, say sorry.

#3 Update your new password in your trusted third-party application

While logged in, visit the Applications tab in Account Settings.  Revoke access for any third party applications that you do not recognise.

#4 Update your new password in your trusted third-party applications

If a trusted external application or widget uses your Twitter password, be sure to update your password in the application. Otherwise, you may be temporarily locked out of your account due to failed login attempts.

Your account should now be secure, and you shouldn’t see the unexpected account behaviours moving forward.

Some further precautions you can take if you find your account has been compromised:

  • Delete any unwanted Tweets that were posted whilst your account was compromised.
  • Scan your computers for viruses and malware, especially if unauthorized or suspicious activity continues to be posted after you have changed your password.
  • Always use a strong, new password that you do not use anywhere else.
  • Always check that you are on before logging in

FinallyBe wary of weird links in DMs: Be cautious when clicking on odd links in DMs. Even if the link came from a friend, it’s possible that their account was compromised and the URL was actually sent out by a spammer.

Needless to say I stayed on “Twitter Alert” all day, responding to concerns from my followers and apologising for my misdemeanour.

Note to self – bear all of the above points in mind for the future ;-)

Happy Tweeting!!

Drop me a comment if you found this information useful or if you would like more information on this subject?



  • Grainne Foley

    Tracey what a nightmare, I have received a lot of “weird” DM’s last weekend also and so didn’t open them thankfully.  I’m so glad you were able to take care of things and it sounds like you notified your followers very quickly for your followers also and you answered any questions they had.

    At least it won’t happen again because you’ll know what to do.

    Have a great weekend.


    • Tracy Baker

      Hi Grainne – yes it was a valuable lesson learnt! :-)

  • Carol Nourse, VA Online

    Hi Tracey – thanks for this hugely useful blog – just sorry that you had to go through the hassle of it all.


    • Tracy Baker

      Hi Carol and welcome to the Blog!

      I was mortified for my followers more than anything and as there is always a silver lining to every cloud it has taught me some valuable lessons, that thankfully I’m able to pass on :D

      So pleased you found it helpful Carol!

  • Alison

    Thanks for sending me this. It’s a horrible feeling when you’ve had a virus and I’ve done everything Twitter said to prevent it happening again.

    ‘People who don’t play by the rules’ is mild phrase for their shenanigans!


    • Tracy Baker

      Hi Alison – you are very welcome it is, as you say, an awful feeling when it happens and I’m so pleased to hear that you’ve managed to secure your account now :o )

      Lol yes my phrasing was mild I agree – but inside I was furious!

      Thanks for dropping by the blog Alison and for your comments.