Twitter Tips: Social Media Security

Along with stealing personal information and compromising your company’s data, hackers can pose a serious threat to your brand’s reputation. Damaging tweets or private messages sent from your Twitter account, such as spam or offensive comments to other users, can put a dent in your list of followers.

A few days ago, Justin Bieber’s Twitter was temporarily hacked into, with the hacker posting inflammatory tweets and links to a spam site. Justin’s Twitter account management quickly regained control of the account and tweeted a brief explanation. His team must be used to handling this situation by now, since Justin’s account seems to get hacked into at least once a year.

To prevent a similar situation from happening to your practice’s or personal brand’s account, here are a few tips for keeping your Twitter safe from break-ins:

  • Choose a unique password. This tip seems pretty obvious, but you’d be surprised by how many people choose “123456” or just “password” as their password. In fact, those were the top two most commonly used passwords in 2013, according to password management company SplashData. To make your password harder to quess, add an uppercase letter and number to a made-up word. Many social media accounts show you whether your selected password is weak, medium or strong, so you can tweak it to something that’s harder to crack.
  • Switch it up. Changing your password every few months limits how long a stolen password is useful to a hacker, since it can sometimes take weeks or even months for a user to notice that their password has been compromised. This is especially dangerous for those who use the same password for multiple accounts. Assign a separate password that you only use for your Twitter account, and change it up often.
  • Up your security settings. Twitter gives you the option to “require personal information to reset my password.” Enabling this feature in your security and privacy settings will further hack-proof your account, since you (or a hacker) will be required to enter your e-mail address or phone number in order to reset your password. Also, make it a point to log out when you’re done Tweeting so that you aren’t continuously logged in.

For more advice on how to keep your account safe, keep an eye out for next week’s blog post – Twitter Tips: More Social Media Security.


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