Twitter now claims to have 50 million active users every single day!
Recently, a colleague complained that his Twitter account had been hacked not once, but twice in the past month!
There is really no reason for anyone to be that vulnerable to attack.
With 2012 upon us and the explosive growth of Twitter, I think the New Year is an excellent time for a review of easy, effective Twitter privacy practices.
5 easy (and tweetable) tips for better privacy protection.
1. Use a strong password that is at least 8 characters long and includes both numbers and symbols. [tweet this]
To avoid the simplest intrusions, make sure your password is not a word that appears in the dictionary. So called computerized “dictionary attacks” are easily capable of targeting and exploiting those words literally within a few seconds. For a great article on password tips and advice, check out this informative article from the folks at Google.
2. Make sure that www.Twitter.com is in the address bar whenever you log into your account. [tweet this]
Bogus sites, malware, spyware and viruses are often disguised as common links. Be cautious about clicking on any links in Twitter messages you read or receive, especially from people you don’t personally know and trust.
Hint: Any words that may appear between the word twitter and the extension.com are indicators that you are not connecting to Twitter!
(example – http://www.twitter.photobucket.com) Not so subtle now, is it?
3. Revoke all access for any suspicious, unrecognized or untrusted third-party Twitter applications. [tweet this]
Just go to “Connections” under the “Account Settings” menu and click “Revoke Access.”
Trusted apps should include only ubiquitous, reliable and trustworthy providers such as Facebook, TweetDeck and Hootsuite etc. Programs and applications built by 3rd party developers can be easy and convenient, but should be used with great care. A recent article in PC World magazine reported that Twitter may have solved this problem by rendering all 3rd party apps obsolete, thanks to their newly re-designed iPhone and Android apps.
4. Stay updated with the latest patches and updates against spyware, viruses and adware. [tweet this]
Keep all your computers, smartphones, tablets, and browsers continuously safeguarded with the latest patches and updates against malicious or harmful software. If you are not getting these updates DAILY (while you sleep) you are vulnerable.
5. Twitter will never email request personal info. If you receive such a request, its the boogeyman! [tweet this]
According to Twitter’s blog:
If we suspect your account has been phished or hacked, we may reset your password to prevent the hacker from misusing your account. In this case, we’ll email you a link to where you can reset your password. Again, this link will always be on the http://twitter.com/ website, and we will never ask you to email us your old password.
Twitter says their goal is “increased security and a better experience.” The folks at Twitter may have taken a page right out of the TSA’s manual for handling airline passengers.
Fly little Twitter birdie, fly!
What Twitter safety practices could you share? Leave a comment!
[Don't forget to follow me on Twitter for frequent privacy tips!]