My Accounts or Devices Have Been Hacked

Online abusers may try to gain access to journalists’ accounts. This might be because they want to obtain information, stop journalists from using their accounts, or because they want to discredit the journalist by posting content that could be harmful to their reputation.

Be safer by taking the following steps:

Important

Secure your accounts

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Act Now

Regain control of accounts

If you or someone else’s accounts have been compromised, contact the tech company to try and regain control. Click on the links below and follow the instructions.


Secure your accounts after losing access

Upon regaining control of your accounts, you or the person affected should immediately change your password. Create a long unique password ideally using a password manager. Turn on two-factor authentication (2FA) for all your accounts where possible. See guidance below on how to do this.

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Next Steps

Set up two-factor authentication (2FA)

Two-factor authentication is an extra layer of security for accounts. It is best practice to turn 2FA on for all accounts where possible. An app or a security key is a more secure option than SMS. Learn more about 2FA in the resources below.


Create long unique passwords

A secure password is 16 characters or more in length and should not contain any personal information, such as a date of birth. It is advisable not to reuse passwords on accounts; instead, create unique individual passwords. The resource section below has more details on creating passwords.


Use a password manager

A password manager can help journalists to create and store passwords more securely. There are a number of password managers available and you should research which one works best for you or your colleagues.


Additional Resources

Learn more about securing accounts with the following resources.

  • Protect your login details and Use email securely

    The Rory Peck Trust

    Up-to-date information on how to secure your accounts.

  • Using password managers to stay safe online

    The Electronic Frontier Foundation

    An animated guide explaining the basics of password managers

  • Two-factor authentication

    Online SOS

    A checklist for setting up 2FA for accounts

  • Create and maintain strong passwords

    Security in a Box

    A comprehensive guide to password creation by Front Line Defenders and Tactical Tech. Content available in a wide array of languages