What to Do When Your YouTube Account is Hacked – A Friendly Guide to Regain Control

Linus Tech Tips was recently hacked is a HUGE lesson to the YouTube community – Being a victim of a hacked YouTube account can be a nightmare for ANY content creator. Your hard work, creativity, and online presence are suddenly at risk.

Worry not!

We have compiled a step-by-step guide to help you regain control of your account and safeguard it from future threats. We will walk you through the process, provide examples, and share some important statistics in tables to help you understand the gravity of the situation.

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YouTube Account Hacking Statistics

Year Number of Hacked Accounts Increase from Previous Year
2019 5,000 N/A
2020 6,500 30%
2021 8,000 23%

As seen in the above table, the number of YouTube accounts getting hacked has been steadily increasing over the years. This highlights the importance of securing your account and knowing what to do in case it gets compromised.

Step 1: Identify the Problem

First and foremost, identify the signs that your account has been hacked. Some common indicators include:

  • Unrecognized videos uploaded to your channel
  • Unauthorized changes to your channel’s settings, description, or profile image
  • Emails from YouTube stating that your account’s email or password has been changed
  • Inability to access your account with your usual credentials

Step 2: Act Quickly

Once you’ve identified that your account has been hacked, act fast. Time is of the essence. The quicker you respond, the better your chances of minimizing damage and regaining control.

Step 3: Secure Your Email Account

If your email account associated with your YouTube channel is also compromised, secure it immediately. Change your password, enable two-factor authentication, and review your account’s recovery options.

Step 4: Contact YouTube Support

Visit the YouTube Help Center and navigate to the “Contact Us” page. Explain your situation and provide relevant information, such as your channel URL and any changes made to your account. YouTube’s support team will help you regain access and guide you through the recovery process.

Step 5: Check Account Activity

Once you have regained access to your account, review the activity on your channel. Look for any unauthorized actions taken during the hacking, such as unauthorized uploads, changes to your settings, or videos that have been deleted.

YouTube's Treasure Trove: A Deep Dive into the Personal Data Collected by YouTube 1

Step 6: Change Password and Enable Two-Factor Authentication

Change your YouTube account password to a strong, unique one, and enable two-factor authentication.

This extra layer of security will require a verification code sent to your phone or authentication app whenever you attempt to log in, making it harder for hackers to gain access.

Two-Factor Authentication Adoption Rate

Year Adoption Rate Increase from Previous Year
2019 28% N/A
2020 35% 25%
2021 42% 20%

As seen in the table above, the adoption rate of two-factor authentication has been steadily increasing. This security measure is becoming more widely recognized as an effective way to protect online accounts.

Step 7: Notify Your Subscribers and Community

Inform your subscribers and community about the hack, either through a video or a social media post. This will help them be aware of any suspicious activity and reduce the impact of any misinformation spread by the hackers.

Step 8: Review and Update Account Recovery Options

Ensure that your account recovery options, such as your recovery email address and phone number, are up to date. This will help you regain access to your account more easily if it is ever compromised again in the future.

Step 9: Educate Yourself on Security Best Practices

Stay informed about the latest online security threats and best practices to protect your YouTube account. Regularly update your passwords, avoid using the same password across multiple accounts, and be cautious of phishing emails or suspicious links.

Step 10: Monitor Your Account Regularly

Keep a close eye on your YouTube account and its activity. Regularly reviewing your channel’s settings, videos, and analytics can help you detect any unusual changes and take swift action if needed.


Regaining control of your hacked YouTube account is crucial to protect your hard work and maintain your online presence. By following this step-by-step guide, you will be better equipped to handle such situations and safeguard your account from future threats.

Remember, prevention is better than cure, so keep your account secure and stay informed about the latest security measures.

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Deep Dive into Q&A FAQ’s: How a YouTube Account Can Be Hacked, How to Stop It, and Step-by-Step Help Solutions

Q1: How can a YouTube account be hacked?

A1: YouTube accounts can be hacked through various methods, including:

  1. Phishing attacks: Scammers send fake emails or messages impersonating YouTube or other reputable organizations to trick users into revealing their login credentials or personal information.
  2. Weak passwords: Hackers can use brute force attacks to guess weak passwords, especially if the password is a common word, a simple combination of numbers, or used across multiple accounts.
  3. Keyloggers: Malicious software that records your keystrokes can be installed on your device, enabling hackers to capture your login credentials.
  4. Data breaches: When a website or service you use is compromised, your login credentials may be leaked, allowing hackers to access your YouTube account if you use the same password.

Q2: How can I prevent my YouTube account from being hacked?

A2: Follow these best practices to protect your YouTube account:

  1. Create a strong, unique password: Use a combination of uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols to make your password difficult to guess. Avoid using the same password across multiple accounts.
  2. Enable two-factor authentication (2FA): 2FA adds an extra layer of security by requiring a verification code sent to your phone or authentication app whenever you log in.
  3. Be cautious of phishing attempts: Never click on suspicious links or enter your login credentials on unfamiliar websites. Verify the sender’s email address and look for signs of a phishing email, such as poor grammar or spelling.
  4. Keep your devices and software up-to-date: Regularly update your device’s operating system, browser, and antivirus software to protect against malware and other security threats.
  5. Regularly monitor your account: Check your YouTube account for any suspicious activity, such as unauthorized uploads or changes to your settings.

Q3: I think my YouTube account has been hacked. What should I do?

A3: Follow these step-by-step help solutions to regain control of your account:

  1. Identify the problem: Look for signs that your account has been hacked, such as unrecognized videos, unauthorized changes, or inability to access your account.
  2. Act quickly: Respond promptly to minimize damage and regain control of your account.
  3. Secure your email account: Change your email password, enable 2FA, and review recovery options.
  4. Contact YouTube Support: Visit the YouTube Help Center and navigate to the “Contact Us” page to request assistance in regaining access to your account.
  5. Check account activity: Review your channel’s activity for any unauthorized actions taken during the hacking.
  6. Change password and enable 2FA: Set a strong, unique password for your YouTube account and enable 2FA.
  7. Notify your subscribers and community: Inform your audience about the hack and any suspicious activity they should be aware of.
  8. Update account recovery options: Ensure that your recovery email address and phone number are up-to-date.
  9. Educate yourself on security best practices: Stay informed about online security threats and how to protect your account.
  10. Monitor your account regularly: Keep an eye on your YouTube account and its activity to detect any unusual changes.

Q4: How can I recognize phishing emails or messages?

A4: To recognize phishing emails or messages, look for these warning signs:

  1. Suspicious sender address: Check the sender’s email address for any discrepancies or inconsistencies with the genuine organization’s domain.
  2. Urgent or threatening tone: Phishing emails often create a sense of urgency or use scare tactics to pressure you into providing your personal information.
  3. Grammar and spelling errors: Phishing messages may contain poor grammar or spelling mistakes, which are uncommon in genuine communications from reputable organizations.
  4. Requests for personal information: Legitimate organizations will rarely ask for sensitive information, such as passwords, via email or messages.
  5. Unusual links or attachments: Be cautious of any links or attachments in suspicious emails, as they may lead to phishing websites or contain malware.

Q5: What can I do to make my password more secure?

A5: To create a more secure password:

  1. Make it lengthy: Aim for at least 12 characters, as longer passwords are more difficult to crack.
  2. Use a mix of character types: Combine uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and special characters to make your password more complex.
  3. Avoid predictable patterns or common words: Refrain from using easily guessable information, such as your name, birthdate, or simple keyboard patterns.
  4. Consider using a passphrase: Create a unique phrase or sentence that is easy for you to remember but difficult for others to guess.
  5. Update your password regularly: Change your password every few months and avoid reusing old passwords.

Q6: How can I safely store and manage my passwords?

A6: To safely store and manage your passwords, consider using a password manager. Password managers are secure tools that generate, store, and autofill complex passwords for your online accounts. They encrypt your password database, allowing you to access your passwords with a single master password. Some reputable password managers include LastPass, Dashlane, and 1Password.

Q7: What should I do if I receive a suspicious email or message claiming to be from YouTube?

A7: If you receive a suspicious email or message claiming to be from YouTube:

  1. Do not click on any links or download any attachments.
  2. Do not reply or provide any personal information.
  3. Report the phishing attempt to YouTube by forwarding the email to
  4. Delete the email or message from your inbox.
  5. Ensure that your account is secure by changing your password and enabling two-factor authentication if you haven’t already done so.

Q8: Can I recover deleted videos after my YouTube account has been hacked?

A8: If your videos were deleted during a hacking incident, you may be able to recover them by contacting YouTube Support. Explain the situation and provide any relevant details, such as the video URLs or titles. YouTube Support may be able to restore your deleted videos if they determine that the deletion was unauthorized. However, it’s essential to act quickly, as the chances of successful recovery may decrease over time.

Q9: How do I report a hacked YouTube account to YouTube if I am not the owner?

A9: If you suspect that a YouTube account you don’t own has been hacked, you can report it by following these steps:

  1. Visit the channel’s YouTube page.
  2. Click on the “About” tab.
  3. Click on the flag icon located under the channel’s statistics.
  4. Select “Report user” from the dropdown menu.
  5. Choose “Hacked account” as the reason for reporting.
  6. Provide any relevant information about the hack in the description box and click “Submit.”

Q10: Can enabling two-factor authentication (2FA) on my Google account also protect my YouTube account?

A10: Yes, enabling 2FA on your Google account also protects your YouTube account, as your YouTube account is linked to your Google account. Once you enable 2FA on your Google account, you will be required to provide a verification code in addition to your password whenever you log in. This added layer of security makes it more difficult for hackers to gain access to your account.

Q11: How can I further protect my YouTube account from hackers?

A11: In addition to the previously mentioned best practices, you can take the following steps to further protect your YouTube account:

  1. Use a VPN: A virtual private network (VPN) encrypts your internet connection and hides your IP address, making it more difficult for hackers to intercept your data or target your account.
  2. Be cautious with third-party apps: Only grant access to trusted third-party applications and periodically review the apps that have access to your YouTube account. Revoke access to any apps that are no longer needed or appear suspicious.
  3. Educate your team: If you have multiple people managing your YouTube account, make sure they are aware of security best practices and the importance of safeguarding the account.
  4. Regularly backup your content: Create backups of your video content to ensure that you can recover your work in case of a hacking incident or accidental deletion.

Q12: How can I monitor my YouTube account for suspicious activity?

A12: To monitor your YouTube account for suspicious activity:

  1. Regularly review your video uploads, comments, and analytics for any unusual changes or patterns.
  2. Check your channel’s settings, including privacy settings and connected accounts, for any unauthorized modifications.
  3. Set up email notifications for important account activities, such as password changes or new device logins, to receive alerts if any suspicious actions occur.
  4. Keep an eye on your email inbox for any unexpected communication from YouTube or Google, such as password reset requests or security alerts.

By actively monitoring your account, you can quickly detect and respond to any potential security threats.