Don't Get Twitter Hijacked

Jul 2011

This weekend, it was reported that ten of thousands of Twitter accounts were hijacked. Hijacking occurs via phishing scams and clicking on virus links. Most of the attempts happen when unsuspecting users click on suspicious links via a tweet, a DM, without using a secure connection (http vs https), or if they don’t set secure passwords.

The most common Twitter scam links start with:

  • “see who stalks you on Twitter”
  • “this is something you might like to see…”
  • “$3,000 to $8,000 a month working from home”
  • “You have been sent a e-Card”

and others that sound similar.

Once they get control of your account, they usually send the same links to followers via a tweet, email, or DM in order to ensnare them as well. Clever phishing artists will also create fake accounts that are similar to celebrity accounts (check for the “verified” button to make sure the account is real).

To protect yourself from a Twitter hijack, always make sure you’re using a secure connection (go into your account settings and change them to use https vs http). Set a password that is secure, use uppercase letters, characters, and/or numbers. Also change your password every month or so. Avoid clicking on links within DMs unless you are expecting them. If you receive an email from Twitter, double check it. Twitter only sends emails to advise of new followers, tweets and retweets, DMs, news, and possible invasion of accounts. When Twitter notices your account has been hijacked, they will suspend your account until you change your password. This guarantees any emails from them are real.

Stay safe and protect your account from being hijacked.


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