Having a social media account hacked is no fun, here is how to back them up



We all live in the world of social media with our online data sitting right there in a big white fluffy cloud (ok not a real cloud). But what happens if you have a problem with it? Even more specifically, what happens if someone assumes your identity and takes over your account – changing all the settings?
This is exactly what happened to my friend Bill Boorman (and the well know recruiter @Animal) recently, when they both had their Twitter accounts, hacked and taken over.
Worryingly, Twitter has proved to not be entirely responsive in helping Bill and Animal recover these two long established Twitter accounts.
@Animal’s has now been restored, but Bill has to hope that Twitter actually do something about it sometime soon. But by then the damaage could be done via spam messages, DM’s and other spurious links sent out via the hacked account. Bill can be temporarily found here on Twitter.

Now, nothing can stop this happening, as there are some very clever people (hackers) out there, and if they want to get in to your account, they usually can! However, you can make sure you have a copy of your social data should this ever happen.

How to back up your social media accounts?

  1. LinkedIn. This is probably your most important social network as it has your connections you have built up in your work environment. You can’t back up all of your three levels of connections, but you can save all your 1st tier connections and export them out of LinkedIn.
    First go to your LinkedIn profile >>contacts tab. At the bottom of the page you will see ‘Export Connections‘ – click here. You can export to a .csv file  – I choose the Yahoo option as that imports well into GMail. Fill in the two word Captcha encrytion and hit Export. You will now have all your 1st tier contacts in a handy spreadsheet backup.
  2. Twitter. This is equally as easy if you use SocialBro. Sign up for an account, put your Twitter account in and it will syncronise your Twitter account – all your Followers and all the Friends you Follow. Now you can export them to a spreadsheet, but you can segment them and add them to Twitter lists.
  3. Backupmytweets.com. Self explanatory isn’t it? It enables you to backup , search and revisit all your tweets – brilliant if you a) share great content and want to revisit it or b) you are paranoid!
  4. Backupify.com. You use this tool to backup a number of social media account (although I prefer to do LinkedIn and Twitter myself as above) –  Facebook, Twitter, Gmail, Google Drive, Google Calendar, Google Sites, Google Contacts, Flickr, Picasa, LinkedIn, Blogger and Zoho accounts. You can back up 3 social media accounts on the FREE account, so it can work well as part of the mix.
  5. Socialsafe.net. Another tool that you can use to backup multiple social media accounts – it does have a small cost – but that is surely worth the piece of mind, isn’t it?

Nothing can stop the pain that people like Bill and @Animal have been through with their accounts being hacked, but hopefully they at least still had their data they can use to start again (if they need to).

My final point here is to Twitter (not that you will listen, read this post or even give a damn!) – you HAVE to sort this crap out. It simply isn’t acceptable for you to hide behind your contact firewall and ignore this kind of thing happening. Bill and @Animal had long standing accounts, and were active Twitter users – to blank them like you have is shocking. I bet you wouldn’t do that if they had large advertising budgets, would you?


Contactus2We work with recruitment agencies and corporates to help them integrate social media into their rexisting ecruitment strategy and recruitment processes. If you require guidance, advice or social recruiting training, get in touch today.


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We consult, train, tweet, blog, text, post, speak, share, read, update, photograph, video and talk about recruitment. At Sirona Consulting we work with companies, recruitment agencies, RPO’s HR & recruitment technology vendors and conference / event organisers, helping them understand and integrate social media into their recruitment strategies. We have have been doing this now for twelve years, working with many companies along the way, from small independent recruiters right through to large international companies. We are honest, ethical and have experience of working across a range of different industry sectors delivering success in the UK, Europe, Middle East, APAC and the United States.

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