Mark Zuckerberg Got Hacked (and You Can, Too)! How to Keep Your Social Media Accounts Safe

posted: 06/16/16
by: Amanda Mushro
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Surely there have been times when you've been scrolling through Facebook and you notice that a friend has stopped posting pictures of their kids or what they had for lunch. Next to their name, you now see inappropriate videos or posts asking you to click on NSFW links. Right away, you know they've been hacked.

But what happens when someone like Facebook creator Mark Zuckerberg has their social media accounts hacked? Recently Zuckerberg's Pinterest, Twitter, and LinkedIn accounts were comprised and hackers were able to post images and messages on his accounts. So if the creator of Facebook can fall victim to savvy hackers, maybe your accounts aren't as safe as you thought.

There are few steps you can take to protect your accounts, but the easiest way to protect your online identity is with a strong password. And, yes, you should be using different passwords for every account. It sounds like a lot to remember, but a hacker could easily work their way through numerous email accounts and social media accounts just because you're using the same password. You can easily download a password manager (LastPass is a favorite) for your computer or smart phone to help you remember all of your passwords.

So what makes a strong password? Here's a few password basics:

  • Your password should contain a number, a symbol, uppercase and a lowercase letters
  • Your password should not contain any pattern of numbers. So no 1234 or 987.
  • Your password should not contain any name or word you can find in the dictionary.

That sounds doable, right? But how in the world will you remember this super strong password with all of these rules? Website designer Jen Kehl suggests making up a sentence that contains a person you know -could be yourself, your family, or your friends- and their address.

Sounds like you are giving away too much info, right? But for this password, Kehl suggests only taking the first word from each sentence. So if your sentence is Steely Dan and The Eagles live at 412 Hotel California your password would be SD&TEla412HC.

Here's what we did:

  • Take first letter of each word
  • If the word is capitalized, it stays capitalized and if it's lowercased, it stays lowercase
  • Turn "and" into an &
  • Keep all numbers intact

So with a little creativity and a few extra steps, you can ensure you have a strong password that no one can hack.