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The Unfortunate Tale of How Our X Account Got Hacked (And How To Stop It From Happening to You)

So, picture this: you’re cruising along, minding your own digital marketing business, when suddenly, BAM! Your X (formerly Twitter) account gets hacked faster than you can say “repost.” Your social media account now becomes a collage of Bitcoin posts, pictures of mansions and sports cars, and raving reviews about crypto returns!

That’s exactly what happened to us. And let’s just say, as a digital marketing agency, it was a little embarrassing.

How our X got hacked

We were happily posting away about all things digital marketing when we noticed something fishy. Suddenly, our feed was flooded with posts about Bitcoin – not the kind of buzz we usually generate. Nope, this was some next-level cryptocurrency chaos. Our X account had been hacked! To this day, we still have no idea how it happened (our password was not “password”).

Each year, billions of cyber breaches occur — over 8.2 billion last year alone. Notably, X itself experienced a data breach last year exposing the email addresses of 220 million users. Real estate giants, media groups and even security companies aren’t safe from experiencing hacks and data breaches.

Unfortunately, we joined those statistics. So, picking up our story…

Naturally, once we realized we had been hacked, panic ensued. We tried to log in, only to find out that the hackers had changed not only our password but also our recovery email and phone number. It was like they’d thrown our digital lives into a blender and hit the “hack” button.

So, what did we do? First, we did what any self-respecting digital marketing agency would do – we sent a strongly worded email to the Bitcoin bandits, threatening legal action. Spoiler alert: it didn’t work.

Turns out, hackers aren’t exactly quaking in their virtual boots at the sight of a cease-and-desist email. The “company” that had taken over our account denied hacking it. Maybe they really weren’t hackers; maybe they just hired hackers to “expand” their business’s reach.

But here’s where things took a turn for the absurd. We discovered that the hackers weren’t just content with hijacking our account – oh no, they were also moonlighting as digital Robin Hoods, offering their hacking services to the highest bidder.

When the “real” account for the “company” that had taken over our account was so helpful in posting to their followers that our account had been hacked in an attempt to “do everything they could to help,” other accounts started recommending the same person to help us get our account back, by essentially hacking it back for us, for a price.

We examined the profiles of the people who responded and found a pattern: They all followed the same 11 accounts, they had just joined X a few weeks ago, and the only posts they had were recommending the same person to other accounts asking for help getting their accounts back. If that wasn’t enough, another tip these were fake accounts was that they all ended in a string of numbers. Take a look at one of these fake accounts below.

So, armed with nothing but our wits, a healthy dose of caffeine, and sheer determination, we embarked on a quest to reclaim our X account. We reported the fake accounts faster than you can say “follow-for-follow”. No fake account was safe – this was war!

But the saga didn’t end there. Oh no, the hackers had one last trick up their sleeve – the next time we checked our X account, it showed it no longer existed.

They had actually changed our username to “anotherghost123,” because, apparently, subtlety isn’t their strong suit. It took some serious sleuthing (and a fair amount of hashtag-hunting), but we eventually tracked down our name-changed account.

Now keep in mind, this whole time, we had contacted X support multiple times, only getting automated responses saying there was nothing they could do because our email didn’t match the email on the account … because the hackers changed it. The good news for us was that the hackers didn’t delete the 13+ years of posts from our account, so we still had a chance to prove to support that the account belonged to us.

After two weeks of battle, we prevailed! We finally got through to a live support representative who was able to reset the account login and give us access. After choosing an even more secure password than the first, changing our bio and profile images back, and deleting thousands of Bitcoin posts, we finally had our account back!

So, what did we learn from this harrowing experience? Aside from the fact that hackers have too much time on their hands, we learned a thing or two about protecting our online presence.

How to protect your social media accounts from hackers

Unfortunately, hackers are everywhere – and they are relentless. The onus is on you to beef up your security and stay vigilant. 

Here are some tips to keep your social media accounts safe and sound:

  • Fort Knox Your Password: Make it long, make it strong, and for the love of hashtags, don’t share it with anyone.

  • Double Up on Security: Two-factor authentication is your new best friend. Trust us, you’ll thank us later.

  • Keep a Watchful Eye: Monitor your accounts like a hawk. If something seems off, don’t wait around – take action immediately.

  • Don’t Trust Unknown/New Links: Do NOT click on weird links! If someone you don’t know – or even someone you know sends you a link, be VERY cautious. This is one of the most common ways your account can be hacked. And whatever you do, do not use any links you are sent to log into any of your accounts, social media, bank, etc.

  • Don’t Feed the Trolls: If you do get hacked, don’t engage with the hackers. Just report, rinse, and repeat until you get your account back. Be relentless here. Don’t worry about coming off as a nag; the squeaky wheel gets the grease, or in this case, your account back!

What to do if your account is hacked

But what if, despite your efforts, you get hacked? Fear not – if our story teaches anything, it’s that with determination and an unrelenting digital battle, you can get your beloved online presence back! Here’s how:

  • Collect and include as much proof and screenshots as possible.

  • Make a copy of it because you’ll have to copy and paste it daily until you get to a real support person.

  • And don’t give up hope!

So there you have it – the cautionary tale of how our digital marketing agency went from X titans to Bitcoin bots (temporarily, at least). Remember, folks – stay vigilant, secure, and most importantly, sassy in the face of cyber adversity. 

Contact us today to enlist our digital marketing experts to help you manage your social media presence.

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