If you’ve built up a decent following on YouTube you could be at risk. Earlier today, hackers managed to take over some YouTube accounts and deface some of the most popular videos on the site.
Photo: Flickr/Rego Korosi
Worried your account could be next? There are a handful of ways to beef up your YouTube security before it’s too late. Here’s what you need to know.
The first thing you should do is set up two-step verification (if you haven’t already). That way, if someone manages to crack your password, they will still be locked out of your account unless they somehow obtain physical access to your phone, too. You should also set up a recovery phone number, so if you do get locked out you’ll be able to regain access to your YouTube/Google account.
Having a strong password is important, too. Make sure to use a mix of numbers, punctuation and letters in both uppercase and lowercase – or a nice, long passphrase. Don’t use the same password (or even a similar one) for multiple accounts, either. Ideally, you should also change your password every few months to stay on the safe side, and invest in a good password manager to keep yourself as secure as possible.
If you’re sharing access to a YouTube page with multiple people, make sure to revoke the permissions of anyone who leaves your company or group. And if you’re going old-school and just sharing a single password, you’ll want to change it as people leave.
Keeping your account protected may also require a little common sense on your part. Keep an eye out for phishing emails pretending to be from Google asking for your account info, and if you ever find yourself redirected to a random login page check the URL to make sure it isn’t a fake page. Two-step verification will protect you from these types of scams most of the time, but you should still try to avoid them.
If you’re still worried about keeping your YouTube account safe, Google has an entire security checklist that details out important best practices. You can also take a look at the company’s Security Checkup to make sure you haven’t forgotten something obvious and left yourself exposed.