5 Twitter Hack-Prevention Tips for 2012

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!]

Don’t Let Smartphone Hackers Ruin Your Holidays

According to data from Neilsen, approximately 38% of American adults now own an iPhone, Blackberry or other mobile device that runs the Android, Windows or Web OS operating system.

Your digital productivity is an attractive lure for financial attackers looking for easy pickings. The more connected you are, the more attractive your data and devices are. Your phone now contains your contact list, your documents, your photos, your history of conversations and a chance for a peek inside your wallet.

One persistent challenge is this; the security holes that leave you vulnerable, often go undetected and create a gaping hole in your mobile security armor.

Because many smartphone devices do double duty both at home and in the workplace, web security firms and company IT departments are hard at work guarding corporate
firewalls from the army of employees who innocently use their smartphones for both company business and personal pleasure.

What can the average smartphone user do to effectively fight the battle against financial data thieves during the busy holiday season? Continue Reading…

Time To Deck The Halls….With Fraud Awareness!

Lets examine 5 strategies which can help guard against holiday fraud this season.

The so-called Super Committee (Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction) just announced that they are unable to agree on the terms of a mandatory $1.2 trillion-dollar deficit reduction  plan. Are you wondering how their failure could possibly affect your gift-giving this year?

The stalemate in Washington, DC may put a damper on our already fragile economy, so protecting your hard earned assets and reputation are worthy goals this holiday season. This is also the time of year when record numbers of consumers  prepare to snag Black Friday and other seasonal shopping deals in malls and online.

With much at stake and our resources stretched like never before, fraudsters are licking their chops as they await the hoards of often distracted and rarely cautious holiday deal-snatchers. The shopping, shipping and selection alone are enough to entice even the most frugal and inexperienced buyers this time of year.

So with shopping in sight and awareness in mind, lets examine 5 strategies that can help you Deter, Detect and Defend against fraudsters lurking behind the holiday tree. Continue Reading…

4 Privacy Tips For Bloggers and Content Creators

Los Angeles tilted on its axis last week, with the arrival of thousands of eager internet marketing and social media conscious conference seekers. (Tongue twister not intended.)

BlogWorld Expo 2011 and Joel Bauer’s Passion 2 Profit, each convened separately this past week in the City of Angels.

Tech-savvy attendees at both gatherings feasted on expert advice from noted gurus, coupled with the concentrated learning modules and intimate networking that they (we) all crave. Both events are getting stellar reviews.

Each event trains corporate executives, entrepreneurs, online marketers, bloggers and content creators to achieve maximum impact and an optimal connection to their target niche’ markets.

BlogWorld is the conference where more than three thousand “new media” evangelists, online journalists and social media experts gather to share marketing ideas, current trends and critical branding insights. Speakers included author Guy Kawasaki, blogger Darren Rowse, social media guru Chris Brogan, and Facebook marketing expert Mari Smith. Continue Reading…

7 Social Networking Rules To Obey

Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus and other social networking sites often have all the glitter, glamour and allure of a star-studded event.

I’m talking about the kind of event that we all dream of being invited to.

The good news for social butterflies is that the social networking party has already started and the guard at the door will let almost anyone inside, including you and me.

The bad news is that the guard at the party’s door will let almost anyone inside including you and me.

You probably know that there is a long list of online celebrities who have been hacked or attacked including spotlight seekers such as Britney Spears, Rihanna, Khloe Kardashian and Ashton Kutcher. Continue Reading…

8 Lessons From An Epic Identity Theft Bust

What is being called one of the largest identity theft busts of its type in U.S. history was announced today by police in New York.

The investigation code named “Operation Swiper”  unfolded like an international spy novel and involved thieves fluent in Russian, Mandarin and Arabic. The thieves had ties to organized crime syndicates in Europe, Africa and the Middle East.

Authorities indicted 111 people from five criminal enterprises in Queens, New York. At the time of this writing, 86 of the 111 people indicted are in custody, with the remaining 25 suspects still at large.

This massive operation is believed to have netted the criminals $13 million over a 16-month period of time. Continue Reading…

$300 iPad Too Good To Be True?

Before you wander too far down the page, yes it IS too good to be true!

The underlying theme which guides most of my thinking about vulnerability and deception, has to do with deciding who you trust in any given situation.

If you don’t trust your bank, your accountant, your insurance adviser or your local manicurist, find a new one. It is really that simple.

I do trust McDonald’s to help me slap on a few pounds or feed my face for just a couple of bucks, but the two guys at McDonald’s offering to “let me in” on their iPad deal of the century? Not.

A large part of deciding who you trust has to do with the outside party’s reputation, the believability of the offer, and carefully listening your gut instincts! Continue Reading…

Why You Didn’t Get That Job

 Labor Day was a somber holiday this year, considering the fact that according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 13.9 million Americans are currently unemployed.

The first Labor Day celebration was held back in 1882, and was designed to celebrate the social and economic achievements of American workers. Sadly, today’s American workforce force no longer reflects the optimism of a higher standard of living and productivity in our great nation.

So why did the hiring committee “pass” on your job application recently? Despite your best efforts to polish your resume’, there may be an economic culprit at work, who is undermining your own job search or that of a loved one.

Our uncertain economic environment encourages many fraudsters to “borrow” your good name to obtain goods and services at your expense. These criminal deeds are often committed with little or no chance of being detected or caught. There may be other inaccuracies in a variety of areas of your life that you are unaware of until they surface. These annoyances seem to always appear at the wrong time. Continue Reading…

Who Can You Trust In A Digital World?

Who do you trust to guard your treasure?

Whether we realize it or not, we make personal trust decisions every day. Our choices can and often do come back to bite us in the….. pocketbook.

We don’t always stop to acknowledge that the choices we make and the partners we choose are often really just surrogate security guards who we assume or presume will keep a close watch over our personal financial backside.

Remember the days when you could fall asleep at night without worrying whether the doors were all locked? Chances are, the older we are, the more we long for those days when our stuff was safe sitting on a park bench while we fed the ducks. Those days are gone.

I’ve been overwhelmed lately with the growing realization that I am totally dependent upon others for the safety and security of most of my material possessions. I suppose that’s why my prayer life improved as my family grew. I began to realize that I really don’t have eyes in the back of my head. Continue Reading…

Identity Theft Secrets Arrives in August!

Although I feel as if my multi-year book project has finally and thankfully come to an end, this is really only just the beginning.

With around 300,000 new book titles published each year, the task of getting the word out to the world about my new book is going to take a real marketing effort.

Identity Theft Secrets: Exposing The Tricks Of The Trade,  has already started to get some attention. I’m grateful that the book won an “Editor’s Choice Award” due to the timeliness and relevance of the subject matter. The book has also earned a prestigious second distinction called “Rising Star Award” because of its’ commercial marketing potential. We are also shooting for wide distribution into college, university and public library collections. Continue Reading…

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