Keeping Your Snapchat Secure – How You Can Stop Criminals From Hacking Your Account

You might think that there are more lucrative targets for cybercriminals than someone’s Snapchat account. Still, the truth is that gaining access to anyone’s private social media is a tempting prospect for those wishing to exploit people via the web. 

Once an illegal actor has hacked your Snapchat, it can be a gateway to other personal information and private messages. Individuals can then face threats, blackmail, or even ransom demands for renewed access.

How can your Snapchat account be hacked?

Here are some common ways cybercriminals try to gain people’s Snapchat login details. 

Malicious software and spyware 

Criminals can use various forms of software to monitor your internet usage, private data, and communications. Most of this malware must be installed on your computer to feed information to a third party. Still, once installed, it could track anything from your internet service history to your keystrokes. 

Keylogging software is particularly useful for criminals looking to gain access to passwords. A program or human reader can often make an educated guess as to which combinations of characters are being used as passwords by spotting the same patterns cropping up in your keystroke history. 

Phishing scams

Cybercriminals tempt people to part with their private login details by posing as official sites or offering attractive discounts or services, then having users type in their username and password. 

Some deceptions can be difficult to spot at first glance, with websites matching color schemes or logos to trick people who might not think twice before typing in something they shouldn’t. Criminals can also appeal to users’ fears of being ‘locked out’ of their accounts to get them to give up their private login. Snapchat employees have even been duped by phishing scammers in the past! 

On Snapchat, cybercriminals may contact individuals, advertising specific products or services and requesting that they enter their details to access these perks. They may pose as people wanting to be your friend or celebrities looking to secure your cooperation. Some phishing scams unfold over many weeks or even months, gaining your trust before having you part with sensitive data. 

Data breaches

Sometimes, companies are the ones who fail to keep private data safe. Large-scale data breaches can and do happen to many organizations, large and small. 

In some instances, such breaches can result in passwords and login details of customers being leaked, placing thousands of accounts at risk of being hacked. 

‘Brute force’ password attacks

Hackers may try this simple but effective method of getting through a password block by bombarding a login screen with thousands of commonly used passwords. They may carry out this ‘brute force’ attack on numerous usernames and accounts, waiting for just one to open up.

Once they’ve gained access to a Snapchat account, they can take steps to change the password from the inside, preventing you from logging in yourself and consolidating their control over your contacts, messages, and media. 

How can you keep your Snapchat account secure?

Just as cybercriminals use tried-and-tested methods to gain access to people’s private social media, you can take an established range of steps to help keep them out. 

Change passwords regularly and use 2-step authorization

Maintaining good password practices is still one of the best ways to secure your Snapchat account. Make sure you choose character combinations that are difficult, if not impossible, to guess. Password generators can help. 

Keeping separate passwords for any social media accounts you own means that if one account is compromised, the chances of others falling at the same time are reduced. 

Using two-factor authorization wherever possible means that even if cybercriminals somehow get hold of a password, they’ll have a harder time using it to access your Snapchat. 

Keep your anti-virus software updated and use a VPN

Professional-grade anti-virus software can help screen and identify any possible malware or unsafe links before they infect your computer. Similarly, some VPNs also have scanning capabilities that highlight potential threats.

In addition to keeping a personal IP address hidden, many people also use a VPN for streaming and for securing better deals online.

Avoid clicking on suspicious links 

Malware and spyware usually make their way onto unsuspecting victims’ devices after a user has clicked a link that leads them to an unsafe site or download. Sometimes, malware will be downloaded alongside other software packages, especially pirated products. 

Avoid any websites purporting to offer free software that isn’t an official company site or reputable vendor. Most malware makes its way onto computers through illicit downloads and sites masquerading as official companies. 

People posing as official companies is also a common method for phishing. Check the website url and security certificate on your browser. No reputable company will ask you to provide your login details anywhere except via official, secure login pages. 

Try not to panic if a third party contacts you, claiming that your Snapchat account has been blocked and that you must enter your details to unlock it. This is almost certainly a scam and should be reported to Snapchat. 

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