What do you do when your Twitter account is hacked?

Twitter fans pay attention to what you look at because that direct message may contain a virus
February 24, 2014 8:33:03 PM PST
Twitter fans pay attention to what you look at because that direct message may contain a virus. All it took was one click on a link in a direct message and within hours hundreds of my Twitter followers were getting messages from me that I never sent out.

Kelly Chevez loves Twitter.

"See what's new, what's going on with people's lives, gossip," said Chevez.

But lately messages have come to Chevez's Twitter account with links embedded.

"I have been getting them a lot," said Chevez.

It turns out at least some of those links contain a virus, as 300 of my Twitter followers found out after I opened a direct message and clicked on the Tiny URL link. The message was from someone I know and asked the question, 'Sure you wanted to post this'? Opening the link infected my account and then 300 direct messages started flowing to my Twitter followers days later.

"I have been a victim. I am a social media girl but I am vulnerable as well," said Social Media Expert Ashley Small.

Small has seen her own Twitter account hacked in the past, she says the virus spreads because it appears to come from someone you know, but adds there are clues to keeping your accounts safe.

"Hey Ashley, check this out' or 'is this you in the video?' When you see a call to action that is a red flag, or 'Look at this cool link," said Small.

Small says the virus is data mining, trying to get people to give up passwords or personal information. Her biggest piece of advice, do not have a universal password for every account.

"Once you have been hacked on one social media platform to update the passwords across the board," she said.

Twitter has a page dedicated to getting your account restored after a hack, as does Facebook. So be careful of opening links, even if they are from someone you know.

Find Jeff on Facebook at ABC13JeffEhling or on Twitter at @jeffehlingabc13

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