Your login information is a coveted prize for many hackers. But do you know why they’re after your passwords? The answer is simple. By getting their hands on your passwords, they gain access to your user accounts which they can then sell on the dark market for a hefty price.
YouTube accounts are of high value among hackers and their clients. If you suspect your YT account got hacked or compromised, you need to act quickly if you want to get it back.
Can My YouTube Account Be Hacked?
Cyber-criminals can hack your YouTube account by getting access to your login information. Once they know what username and password you use to access your account, they can easily hack it, change the password and lock you out.
How Do YouTube Accounts Get Hacked?
Cyber-criminals frequently use phishing emails to hack your YouTube account. They often use zombie computers and successive waves of zombie attacks to send you malware embedded in emails. Click on that specially crafted email designed to harvest your YouTube login information, and you’re doomed. Hackers can also insert malware links in the comments they leave on your videos.
Some hackers also use keyloggers to record your keyboard strokes and steal your YT username and password. They usually sneak into your computer when you download software from third-party download websites.
Why Are YouTube Channels Getting Hacked?
YouTube accounts with a large number of followers can be used as milk cows. The higher the subscriber count, the more appealing that account becomes for hackers. Most likely, YT accounts with a large following are also monetized, which means hackers can get their hands on a nice source of revenue. Or they can simply sell your YouTube account for profit.
YouTube is the second most popular website globally, after Google, pulling in billions of users every month. As you can see, from a cyber criminal’s point of view, hacking popular YT accounts is worth the effort.
How Do I Know If My YouTube Account Has Been Hacked
These signs should set off alarm bells:
- You can no longer log in to your YouTube account, although you’re using the correct login details. Gmail accounts are required to sign up to YT, so most likely, all your Gmail-based accounts have also been compromised.
- YouTube is subscribing you to random channels.
- Go to your Google account page and select Security. Go to Review security events to check the login locations. If you detect strange login locations, this may indicate someone else has access to your account. Additionally, click on Manage devices to check what devices are using your account.
- There’s been unusual or suspicious activity on your account. For example, some videos got deleted, or new videos have been uploaded without your consent.
How Do I Get My YouTube Channel Back?
Can You Still Access Your Account?
The first thing you need to do is check if you can still access your account. If this is the case, change your password. Go to your Google Account page, click on Security and select Signing into Google. Then click on Password, sign in again and enter your new password twice.
Here’s What to Do If You Can’t Access Your YouTube Account
If you’re locked out, go to the account recovery page and answer the security questions to recover your account. Use a familiar device, answer as many questions as possible, and take your best guess even if you don’t remember the exact answers.
The bad news is that even if you manage to get your account back, you may not be able to restore the videos that hackers might have removed.
After you got your account back, you need to take extra security measures to avoid similar events in the future.
How to Prevent Hackers from Compromising Your YouTube Account
The key to stopping hackers from hijacking your YouTube account is to use all the extra security measures that you can. Prevention is always better than cure.
Use Two-Factor Authentication
Even if hackers manage to steal your password, they won’t be able to take over your YouTube account if you use 2FA authentication. This is because they won’t have access to the security code that YouTube sends to your phone, for example.
Enable Password Alert
Password Alert is a handy option that notifies you when you’re about to enter your password on a non-Google site. For example, if hackers manage to convince you to click on a link that takes to you to a webpage pretending to be a Google-operated website, Password Alert will sound off the alarm.
To enable Password Alert, sign in to your Google Account on Chrome, and go to the Chrome Web Store. Download and install Password Alert, and follow the on-screen instructions to enable the alerts. For more information, see Prevent phishing with Password Alert.
Use a Secure Browser
Google Chrome is a secure browser that can successfully keep hackers at bay. Make sure you’re running the latest Chrome version. Additionally, reduce the number of extensions you use to minimize security risks. Hackers often use compromised extensions to infect your computer with malware and steal your data. Less secure extensions can jeopardize the security of your device and Google account.
Additional Security Tips
- Always download software from official websites. Don’t use torrent platforms and third-party download websites.
- Don’t open suspicious emails. And if you do, don’t click on any links. Send suspiciously looking emails straight to the Trash folder.
- Don’t use the same password across all your accounts to prevent hackers from compromising your accounts.
- Use complex passwords that include numbers and special characters to make it more difficult for hackers to compromise your account.
- Run an in-depth antivirus scan every week to keep your computer safe.
- Install a reliable anti-malware and anti-spam tool on your device. Make sure it’s compatible with your antivirus to avoid software conflicts.
- Regularly remove apps and programs you no longer need.
- Update your programs and operating system to keep hackers out.
Many hackers are lurking in the dark, waiting to get their hands on your YouTube account. Prevention is better than cure, so you should enable two-factor authentication and Password Alert to make it more difficult for hackers to steal your login information. If you’re fully locked out, go to Google’s account recovery page and answer the security questions to regain access to your account.
Has your YouTube account ever been hacked? What did you do to get it back? Tell us more about your experience in the comments below.