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  • How to Deal With Your Hacked Twitter Account

    I should be writing about my recent trip to Cancun, and my safe return without the swine flu. But instead, I’m writing about this stupid person who hacked my Twitter account and started following hundreds of spammers who started sending me hundreds of direct messages with hundreds of stupid links that I’m afraid to click. So I can’t tell you where those links go.

    What I can tell you is that the incident completely freaked me out. First, because I was only gone from social media and internet access for one week, and someone managed to violate my privacy in that time frame. Second, because I had to unfollow everyone to get rid of the spammers. And I was afraid to unfollow everyone because I know lots of people have auto-unfollows and I knew my followers count would drop. Fast. Wait. It’s still dropping. Like hundreds of people every few hours.

    Numbers define something about your online presence?

    Then I realized I just don’t care. Seriously. I know that people who would only follow me if I was following them are using me to boost their egos. And I know that cleaning out my Twitter following was unmanageable without starting from scratch. And I know that I need to get over the idea that numbers define something about my online presence.

    I feel a lot of things right now. Mad at the hacker. Annoyed with the source of the originally hacked account. Annoyed with myself for using the same password for both accounts. And then, relieved that I have an excuse to unfollow everyone and delete the noise in my Twitter account. And then, back to annoyed, because I will probably spend a lot of time adding people back.

    But. I can breathe again. I can hear myself think. And if that costs me a thousand followers, it’s probably still worth it.

    Your Twitter account is hacked?  What to do…

    Here’s what to do if your Twitter account is hacked:

    1. Change the password.
    2. Identify the source, so it doesn’t happen again.
    3. Unfollow the spammers, even if you have to unfollow everyone.
    4. Delete your DMs.
    5. Be patient. You can’t fix your account in one day.

    If I owe you a follow, let me know. And be patient. Because it’s going to take me awhile to get back on track on Twitter.

    Monica O’Brien is an MBA candidate with years of experience in business, strategy, and technology. She currently consults start-ups in the Chicago area on establishing their social media strategies. Monica attends the Chicago Booth School of Business (at the University of Chicago), currently ranked the #1 MBA program in the country by BusinessWeek, and is one of the 2007 Chicago Business Fellows. She concentrates in Marketing, Strategy, and Entrepreneurship. Monica holds a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science, with a minor in Physics, from Truman State University. Her blog, Twenty Set, gives career advice to young professionals. Monica writes candidly about her own experiences. She has also written for Mashable and ProBlogger, and has been featured in major publications like the Christian Science Monitor.

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    Posted in eBrand, Personal Branding, PR, Reputation Management, Social Media
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