The Basics of Twitter Security

Improving your twitter security– Twitter users often don’t think of their Twitter account as a potential security risk. But criminals who specialize in online crime are quick to adapt to new techniques, and Twitter users have already been targeted numerous times by identity thieves and phishing scams.

Practice Basic Security

The password which you choose for your Twitter account is incredibly important. It is the only thing which keeps others from entering your account (remember, anyone who follows you already knows your user name).

A strong password will reduce the chance that a malicious party will be able to hijack your account. General password rules apply. Don’t pick something that will be easy to guess, like the name of a pet or relative. This is particularly important on Twitter because it is a way to share you thoughts. If you password is the name of your favorite band and then post a tweet about how excited you are to go see them in concert the security of your password is weak at best.

Generally speaking, it is best to pick something which is random. Also insert a few random numbers and characters to increase security. This will be harder to remember, but you can always write down the password and keep it for a few days until you’ve memorized it.

Phishing Scams Live On

The phishing scam has become one of the most stereotypical and effective computer scams in history. The basic setup is simple. A link is sent to you from a supposedly trusted source. The link sends you to what appears to be a familiar website and, not suspecting any problem, you enter your login information or some other personal data. But the website is in fact a facade, and once you enter the information it is logged by identity thieves who can then access your account.

Twitter is just another way for identity thieves to find potential victims. Usually a compromised account will post a tweet with a URL. Do not, under any circumstances, enter information on a website which was linked in a tweet even if the URL was sent from a friend. Remember, Twitter accounts can be compromised and it is possible that the tweet which you think is coming from a friend is in fact coming from an identity thief who has hijacked your friend’s account.

Keep it Vague

An often unrecognized threat posed by Twitter is that of consequences brought on by actions over Twitter.

Although rare, there are obviously reasons to be concerned. Celebrity Perez Hilton illustrated this fact in 2009 when tweets and blog posts about a fight between him and Black Eye Peas’ frontman resulted in criticism from civil rights group.

Chances are good that you’re not a celebrity, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be worried about getting too personal and specific on Twitter. What happens if your tweet says something negative about your boss, for example? Even if your boss doesn’t follow you on Twitter, he or she might follow one of your co-workers who could at any time retweet what you said.

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