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We can not deny the importance of social media websites in our daily life. A social media or social networking site helps people to connect with their friends, family, brands and celebrities etc. We share a lot of information on these websites including our personal and financial details such as location, photos, and messages, etc. This is the reason why hackers prefer to hack social media accounts for their bad intentions.

How can hackers hack Social media accounts?

Not every internet user is educated enough in a way to understand how to protect their social media accounts. So in this article, I’m going to mention some of the most popular methods used by hackers to hack social media accounts and how to make sure that you won’t get hacked using those methods.

1. Phishing

Phishing is very easy and considered an n00b technique but it is one of the most effective techniques to hack social media accounts. There is a 50-50 chance for a hacker to get a victim’s password using Phishing if your victim is not aware of basic internet terminologies. There are various ways of carrying out a phishing attack. The most common one is where a hacker creates a replica of a login page that looks like the real social media page. The victim will then think it’s the usual login

The most common Phishing is to create a duplicate of a login page that looks like the real login page. The victim thinks it’s the usual social login page so he enters his login details into the phishing page. Once the victim is logged in through the fake page, the email address and password are stored in a text file or in the hacker’s database.

How to detect a Phishing Page?

  • Check the URL of the login page.
  • Never log in to your social media account on other devices.
  • Use Modern web browsers that identify the phishing page.
  • Avoid emails or text msgs that ask you to log into your social media account.

2. KeyLogging

Keylogging is one of the easiest ways to hack a social media account. A keylogger is a program that records and monitors the user’s input and keeps a log of all keys that are entered. The keylogger can actively send your inputs to hackers via the Internet. You have to be very careful while dealing with keyloggers because even the computer experts become victims of keylogging.

How to detect Keyloggers?

  • Scan your USB drives before using them
  • Download software from trusted sites only
  • Use a good antivirus

3. Man In The Middle Attacks

In this method, the hacker secretly relays and possibly alters the communication between the server and victim who believe they are directly communicating with each other.

The hacker makes independent connections with the victims and relays messages between them to make them believe they are talking directly to each other over a private connection, when in fact the entire conversation is controlled by the hacker.

The Hacker must be able to intercept all relevant messages passing between the two victims and inject new ones. This is straightforward in many circumstances; for example, an attacker within the reception range of wireless access point can insert himself as a man-in-the-middle.

How to avoid MIME attacks?

  • Use VPN services
  • A proxy server to access the internet
  • Use good antivirus with good firewall options

4. Social Engineering

Social engineering is a simple method that’s based on collecting as much info from the victims as possible. The information may include the date of birth, phone number, security questions, etc. Once a hacker gains access to this info, he can brute force the info or use recovery methods to get login passwords.

How to avoid Social Engineering?

  • Never share personal info via email or phone
  • Avoid links from unknown or suspicious sites

5. Session Hijacking

When you log in to your social media account, your browser and the social media server maintain a session for user authentication. The session details are saved in your browser’s cookie files. In session hijacking, the hacker steals those cookies and then accesses the victim’s account. Session hijacking is most common when accessing Social media websites on an HTTP (non-secure) connection and it is widely used on LAN and Wi-Fi connections.

How to avoid Session Hijacking?

  • Do not use Social media websites when connected to shared Wi-Fi or LAN.
  • Try to clear cookies every 2-3 days or if possible daily

6. Saved Passwords

Most of the time we share our login and credit card details in the web browser. Anyone can see your Social media account from your browser’s password manager. A hacker can get physical access to your computer and insert a USB programmed to automatically extract or retrieve saved passwords in the Internet browser or any other information the hacker may need.

How to avoid Password Hacking?

  • Try not to save passwords in web browsers
  • Do not share your device with people
  • Block the device connectors

7. DNS Spoofing

If a hacker is on the same network which is connected to the Victim, he can change the original page and replace it with his own fake page and easily gain access to the victim’s social media account.

How to Avoid DNS Spoofing?

  • Always configure it to be secure against cache poisoning
  • Manage your DNS servers securely

8. Botnets

Basically, botnets are networks made of remote-controlled computers or bots. These bots have been infected with malware that allows them to be remotely controlled. It’s expensive to set up botnets and this makes them be minimally used in cases of hacking login accounts. Some very popular botnets include spy eye and Zeus.

How to avoid Botnets?

  • Keep all your software up to date
  • Ensure that your firewall is always on