A Cyber Hack; Nothing Good, Only Bad and Ugly - by Rebecca Maitland
Updated: Sep 4
Picture this. It’s a “normal” Thursday evening, you’ve switched off, prepped for the next day at work and headed to catch some z’s. You wake up on Friday morning, head to the gym first thing… then you get a notification. “Ping!” You’ve been hacked and you’ve lost all access to Facebook and Instagram.
To sum up in a paragraph, that’s how quickly my business changed overnight and what, for me, felt like in a flash. Turns out my cyber security couldn’t stop this hacker, and I was left stranded. The business came to a halt.
Multiple calls and multiple apologies are all that Friday morning consisted of, including multiple Google searches on ‘How to retrieve a Facebook page’ and ‘How to gain access to my Facebook’. Rightly so, Meta had banned my account from Facebook as it thought it looked suspicious. However, for Socially Organised, this wasn’t good news.
My mental health hit an all-time low point during all of this. It left me confused, angry, worried, you name it! With all the pressures of running your own business, this was not an extra I needed. For someone who trusted, and LOVED, doing social media, it almost made me too scared to even go back in… whilst constantly overthinking of “what if they hack me again?!”
It took a good month before I was back on Facebook. Although it was good to be back, starting a fresh was not. Brand new Facebook page for Socially Organised, brand new personal account for me, and many months ahead of building up trust again with my clients. That, of which, I am extremely thankful for as each client was very understanding… despite the circumstances.
Cyber security is nothing to joke about. There’s a whole world out there, apart from our own, that is full of malicious hackers, and it’s vital that businesses learn how to prevent such an attack.
My own experience was an eye-opener, for sure, and offered me many, many lessons to learn and swear by. Here are some of my personal tips in hacking the mind of a hacker and staying one step ahead:
Two-Step Verification… ON EVERYTHING. Thankfully, there are many apps for this now, and it’s easy as pie to set up. Do some research on which Verification app suits you, and then ensure its active on as many accounts that you run/use as possible.
Change your passwords, regularly. For me, I like to change my passwords every 3-6 months max. It’s a great way of ensuring top security. When choosing passwords, remember to go ABSTRACT… something that isn’t easy to guess. And remember! Each password should be different for each platform/app/software, the more confusing it is to get into your account, the BETTER.
If a message looks suspicious, it is. End of. Hackers nowadays are making it very difficult to determine between a “real” and “fake” message, but I always say… trust your gut. Delete the message, block the sender, and if possible, report the account to the app in question!
Keep all devices up to date. This is paramount and one that I check nearly every week. Keep an eye on your Apple or Android Store Account, and make sure that all your apps are up to date. It’s easy to forget about this, so make sure this is part of your routine, and you’ll thank yourself later.
Anti-Virus Protection & Firewall are your best friends. Keep them close. Choose a good protection when buying a new laptop or computer, and when it comes to renewing them each year, do it. They’ll be the ghost friend that you never see, but boy are they working in your favour in the background.
So, when it comes to Cyber Security, don’t just think that your house alarm, six-digit iPhone password or that password you’ve had for 10 years is going to do it. There’s a lot more to it than meets the eye; trust me.
However, by following those 5 simple steps, you’ll not only be doing yourself a favour but your business too. Be secure, be cyber aware and be UN-HACKABLE.
About the author
Spotting a gap in the social media market in her area, Rebecca launched Socially Organised in April 2021 – focusing solely on social media management. Over two years later, Rebecca has managed numerous social media accounts for businesses in the Scottish Borders and Northumberland.
Aside of that, Rebecca offers advice on social media through 1-2-1 training and assistance in business administration.
Founder, Socially Organised