How to Spot if a Friend Has Been a Victim of a Hack or Data Breach

Across the digital world, users are getting their data hacked, leaked, or stolen every day. This is putting not only you, but also everyone you know at risk. On platforms such as WhatsApp, Facebook, and Instagram, along with emailing services like Gmail, people are becoming victims of hacking more than ever.

Let’s look at WhatsApp alone, according to Lloyds Bank the number of WhatsApp scams has rocketed by more than 2,000% in the last 12 months.

How to tell if someone you know has been hacked

But just how can you tell if someone on your feed has been a victim of hacking? There are several things that can give this away:

  • You receive a strange message from a friend’s account: A ‘friend’ sends you a message with a link to a website, claiming that they have found a great deal or want you to watch some sort of video. At this point, stop and think. Would this friend really try and send you something like this?
  • You receive a friend request from someone you have already added: It’s possible that you may receive a friend request from someone you already know, along with a message asking you to add this “new” account as their “old” one has been hacked. Ensure that you check that the profile is genuine because often, their old account has not been hacked at all and instead someone could have set up the fake account to try and scam their contacts.
  • They post spam links on their feed: Like the first point, your friends will start sharing links on their feed, linking to the same sort of websites that you may receive via direct message. Do not click on these links as they will more than likely be a scam. Always contact the person through a different platform before you are even tempted to click on any links, they will be able to confirm if they have been a victim of a hack.

What to do if you suspect someone has been hacked

If someone you know has been a victim of a hack, you will need to act immediately. Inform the person through another means that this has happened. Have them change the password related to the account and adopt stricter security settings such as Multi-Factor Authentication. Facebook also provides a link to inform them that the account has been compromised, they will take the person affected through the steps they need to complete.

Point them in the direction of a service that can assist them to see if they have been directly affected by a data breach. The free Protect My Privacy app can do exactly that.

How this can affect your own privacy and security

If someone you know has been affected by a hack or breach, it can also affect you as well!

By having access to someone’s friends and families’ accounts on Facebook, the hacker/scammer could:

  • Use photos and data on private profiles to create more fake accounts.
  • Monitor the private details of the whereabouts and activities of certain users.
  • Data mine for personal information such as email addresses and phone numbers.

They can do this and so much more to your accounts, so you need to always be aware of possible breaches of security.

In the world of social media, you need to always keep your friends and yourself safe, as you never know when you may be affected. By downloading the free Protect My Privacy app, you can ensure you stay safe online today!

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