Twitter is amazingly popular and anything that is popular is a target for identity thieves and scam artists. Twitter accounts of high profile Twitter users such as the Associated Press have been hacked in great numbers recently. In the case of the hacking of the Twitter account of the Associated Press, it resulted in a phony tweet that caused a serious although temporary drop in the stock market. Keeping your Twitter account secure, however is important for even we private individuals who use Twitter. Hacking into our Twitter account can also lead into hacking into the information contained in your computer or mobile device and can result in your becoming a victim of identity theft so it is very important to take some basic steps to protect yourself when using Twitter.
Like so many other services, it is is important to have a complex password that cannot be readily deciphered by a hacker. In “50 Ways to Protect Your Identity in a Digital Age” I go into detail about how to pick a complex password that is also easy to remember. Adding just a few “***” or “$$$” at the end of an easy to remember password can provide a great deal of security. Also, just a few days ago Twitter announced a new two-factor authentication feature that can dramatically increase your security when using Twitter. This works by requiring you to not just enter your password, but also a six digit code which is sent to your device as a text message by Twitter in order to access your Twitter account. Unfortunately, many people have chosen not to take advantage of this new feature. Also, make sure that any apps you install are legitimate. Tainted apps are a great source of malware used by hackers to not only get access to your Twitter account, but also all of the information in your computer, which can be used against you to make you a victim of identity theft. Finally, make sure that your security software and anti-malware software is up to date.