Anyone can fall victim to a twitter hack.
“I hope the new world order will arrive as soon as possible!” – Britney Spears 2011
It used to be easy to quote literature and big names in a credible way. You’d pick out a book with an author’s name on the cover and you could use the author’s words without fear of ridiculously misquoting anyone.
With the advent of social media, such a thing has become less and less possible. What’s made the problem even worse is the Twitter hack. Britney Spears wanting to change the world order is, perhaps, an immediate red flag for hackers having a bit of fun, but other hacks have been more embarrassing and damaging to the people involved.
Whilst some hacks are made in the name of fun (Gucci Mane saying “Justin Timberlake is yummm” for example), Amnesty International recently had its account hacked and plastered with swastikas. Less serious in its content but embarrassing nonetheless for the owners of the account, last week McDonald’s had to delete a post saying Donald Trump has “tiny hands”.
While hackers often go after high profile names to get their posts seen, anyone can fall victim to a twitter hack.
Activity From Years Ago Could Be Compromising Your Account
It turns out that activity from over five years ago is compromising many people’s Twitter accounts. In Twitter’s first few years, third-party apps were used to analyze tweet views, automatically tweet messages or find followers. The previously mentioned hackers reportedly got into Amnesty International’s twitter account through third-party statistic compiling Twitter Counter.
These apps have lost a lot of their initial popularity as Twitter themselves now offer similar services. The problem though, is that many people downloaded these third-party apps years ago and have completely forgotten they are still active on their phones.
What Can We Do To Keep Our Twitter Accounts Safe?
To protect your account, go to Twitter.com on your desktop. Once you’ve logged in, click your profile photo on the upper right and select “settings and privacy” on the drop-down menu. On the next screen, select “apps” from the left-hand menu. If there’s anything you don’t recognize there, or simply forgot you installed months, or years, ago, click “revoke access”.
Two other simple changes you can make in “settings” are a password change and two-factor authentication. Recent hacks that affected sites like Cloudflare and Yahoo, amongst others, could potentially have released your password to strangers. If you’re not too attached to your current password, it’s better to be safe than sorry. Simply select “password” from the drop down menu to do so.
Two-factor authentication, meanwhile, adds another layer of security that makes it very difficult for anyone to log in to your Twitter account without you knowing. From the settings menu, select “account” and tick the box by “verify login requests.” You’ll be asked to fill in your mobile number. Doing so means that anytime you try to login from a new device, a six-digit code will be sent to your mobile device. Only someone with access to your mobile phone can login to your account.