If you're reading this and you're young, there's a decent chance that somebody has hacked into your social media account recently. Maybe they sent a lewd tweet on Twitter or posted a hilariously confusing status update on Facebook. It's possible they set up a Hangout with your worst enemies on Google+ or read all your Gmail. Regardless, this is happening more and more frequently according to a new Associated Press-MTV poll. Three in 10 teens have had their social media accounts hacked, twice the number in 2009. The vast majority of the victims knew the perpetrators--67 percent of those pranked knew the prankster, 72 percent of those spied on knew the spy--and about half of them were upset about it.
The trend seems harmless enough at face value. If anything, being the victim of a hack prompts people to pay more attention to securing their identity online. The AP-MTV poll says that two-thirds take action by changing passwords or screen names, one in four delete their accounts altogether. Then there are the celebrity hacks--often good for a yuck or two. Earlier this year, a prankster hacked into Ashton Kutcher's account during a TED conference and used the access for a little bit of cybersecurity activism. "Ashton, you've been Punk'd," read the rogue tweet. "This account is not secure. Dude, where's my SSL?" (SSL means "Security Sockets Layer," a simple shield against hacks that many believe should be the default security setting on Twitter on Facebook but is not.)