Have you noticed that there are more and more cases of people and companies having their Twitter accounts hacked and fake information posted? On the 23rd of April, for example, the Associated Press Twitter account was hacked and a post uploaded about two explosions at the White House and Barack Obama being injured. These sorts of hacks can send the world into a spin of terror and fear, as was shown by this case amongst Americans.
So, how can we go about safeguarding our own Twitter accounts and protecting them from hackers?
- Never share personal information – This is something that you should never do on any social networking platform. Never extend your email, personal or business address, telephone number and so on; you are able to disable the Geotag feature in the settings.
- Regularly change your password – Did you know that automated bots are used by hackers to gain access to your Twitter account? Make sure that you use strong passwords and change it ever 4-6 weeks to ensure that it is kept secure.
- Be wary of unsolicited Direct Messages (DMs) – Many phishing scams use DMs to lure users to login pages where they are asked to provide their username and password. Just keep in mind that you may receive DMs from people that you follow whose accounts have been compromised.
- Block and report spam – If you ever receive spam via @replies, make sure that you block and report the account as being spam. There is actually a Twitter Spam account that you can follow and send a DM to with the name of the spam account to report it.
- Avoid being impersonated – Twitter does allow impersonation, but only for parody purposes. So, even if you don't use Twitter, someone else could be using your name, which can have serious consequences for your reputation. Illegitimate impersonations can be reported.
There are plenty of other ways that you can safeguard your Twitter account against hackers who want nothing more than to access your personal and private information; the points we have outlined above, however, tend to be the most effective. It is also important that you ensure your computer's anti-virus and firewall software is up to date, as this will help you to block unauthorised access to your files and passwords.