Social media users are being reminded of some simple steps to ensure they do not fall victim of hacking.
Kent Police has received 15 reports of people’s social media accounts being hacked this week.
Hacking of an email or social media account is when an offender makes unauthorised changes of its contents.
In one case the victim’s friend had been contacted to verify their social media account, and by them giving them their personal details such as their mobile number their account was hacked and taken over.
In several cases a person’s social media account was hacked due to them clicking onto a link they were sent from a friend’s compromised social media account.
Kent Police’s Prevent and Protect Cyber Officer, Aimee Payne said: ‘Social media and email account hacking can happen to any type of business or personal online account.
‘It can also happen on any type of internet enabled device. This includes mobiles, tablets, laptops, desktops and games consoles.
‘If a demand for payment is made, do not pay any money to the suspect in order to regain access to your account. It is likely the suspect will continue to demand more money instead of giving you control of your account back.
‘If you have paid any money, contact your bank immediately and report it to Action Fraud online at actionfraud.police.uk or by calling 0300 123 2040 as soon as possible.
‘It is really important that people take the following steps to protect themselves and their accounts.’
• Use a strong and separate password to protect your email. You should also protect your other important accounts, such as banking.
• Enable two-factor authentication (2FA). It will help to stop hackers from getting into your online accounts, even if they have your password.
• Be cautious of social media messages that ask for your login details or authentication codes, even if the message appears to be from someone you know.
• If you can't access your account, search the company's online support or help pages. You'll find information about how to recover your account.
• You can report suspicious emails you have received but not acted upon, by forwarding the original message to [email protected] You can report suspicious texts you have received but not acted upon, by forwarding the original message to 7726, which spells SPAM on your keypad.