How To Avoid Turning Your Account Over To A Hijacker Like Lady Gaga Did Today

Lady Gaga was hacked on both Twitter and Facebook today. One common reason that could have happened: She used the same password on different sites. Once someone got the password on any site, they would try it on all sites that she is on. (It’s also possible an employee hijacked her accounts. Here’s what to do in that case.)

To avoid letting YOUR accounts get hijacked that way yourself, here’s a simple tip: keep the same password you have now, but add the letter of the site to it.

Here’s an example of how that might work: If your password was “P@55word” for both Twitter and Facebook and Google, it would become something like:

  • “T-P@55word” for Twitter
  • “F-P@55word” for Facebook
  • “G-P@55word” for Google

(Although you can put the letter anywhere in your password that makes sense to you.)

Here’s more on strategies  to come up with unguessable passwords.

That way, if any site ever gets hacked, they can’t try your password on other sites and possibly hack your accounts there.

Do this now! It just takes a moment.

Should you block or report hijacked accounts?

A better strategy is to let the person know you think they’ve been hijacked. While it’s not always easy to tell, if you see a report that specific tweets are coming from people who’ve had their accounts hijacked, assume they’ve had the problem and are not just spammers, and be a friend and let them know.

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