7 On Your Side: How to hack-proof your social media accounts

NEW YORK (WABC) -- Having your Instagram or Facebook account hacked is not just something that happens to celebrities and social media influencers.

Hackers are targeting everyone, with a goal of getting your money and access to people you follow and who follow you.

Actors, artists, and social media stars are paid a boatload by brands for influencing others.

We may not benefit from that profit but in the eyes of a hacker, you and I are just as important because even a trickle of insight can lead to a waterfall of infomation on everyone in our networks.

"I'm a regular person, how did it happen?", said Rachel Dzubera. She is not a celebrity, nor is the 25-year-old a social media influencer.

Yet her Instagram account was targeted by hackers.

"You may think you're a regular person but to a hacker each and every one of us is Kim Kardashian," said ID theft expert and founder of CyberScout, Adam Levin.

He says a social media hack like Rachel's will happen to most of us, not because of who we are but where our information can lead scammers.

"We are a tributary to a larger river. Maybe they don't want us but we can get them where they want to go," said Levin.

In Rachel's case, hackers used info from her "Insta" to worm their way into her Amazon account.

"I got all these codes emailed to me from Amazon saying you've changed your password," said Rachel. "And I didn't."

She quickly secured the credit cards and her Amazon account, but couldn't wrestle her Instagram profile away from the hacker who changed her setting to public from private.

"While they're in your account they change your phone number and then they delete your account," said Levin.

We worked with Instagram to finally unlock Rachel's targeted account, but it took weeks for her to gain full access.

"I can't thank you guys enough. I wouldn't have been able to to do it without you," said Rachel.

The big takeaway: Rachel now has two factor authentication on all her accounts. That's where in order to login you have to provide a code - sent to you via text.

A good practice for all of us is, STOP oversharing on social media. Posting birthday and other personal tidbits about our lives makes it so much easier for hackers.

Lastly NEVER use the same login and password information across any other accounts.

For most of us our username is our email. Change it up! That way if one account suffers a hack attack, the others are still locked down.


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Email 7OnYourSideNina@abc.com, or contact Nina on her Facebook page or tweet her at Twitter @7OnYourSideNY! You can also call the 7 On Your Side Hotline at 917-260-7697 or fill out the form below.

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