As if there weren’t enough armed robbers and terrorists going round, now we have “account flu” -using one’s twitter handle to send phishing emails-to worry about. No, not the biological kind that attacks account owners, but those that gained unathorised access into accounts. I’m referring to hackers who are becoming a major concern for social media account owners throughout the world…just at a time social media is expanding beyond human imagination.
Hackers have be known to gained access to most seemingly-secured accounts in the world thereby sending a wake-up call to those who are particularly using twitter to promote their interests, philosophies, and businesses.
The twitter handle @OpeQuadri is one whose twitter account was hacked. How? He was directed to another site to enter his login information, which he ignorantly did on Tuesday, March 18, 2014 at around 00:23am. With the hacker in full control of his handle, twits contrary to the interest of Quadri were already in circulation. Phishing emails were also being sent to his followers targeted at gaining access into his followers’ twitter account.
In less than five hours after such suspicious twits, some of his followers twitted to put their followers on alert:
“Scammer alert! @OpeQuadri is spreading a phishing email designed to get your twitter login. Block him”…more than six followers (with significant followers) retwitted.
Another follower twitted, “@OpeQuadri this appears to be an unclever way to get my login and password”…and lots more.
However, some of his (Quadri) followers who had known him for his kind of twits ask, “have you been hacked; what is this; I can’t open your link?
The handle @OpeQuadri prior to being hacked was known for inspirational quotes, twitting updates about breaking news, and twitting his opinion about burning issues that could be of interest to his followers. This attribute saved him more.
The good thing is twitter came to salvage the enormous damage the hacked account would have caused the handler. But a slight damage had already been done…457 followers unfollow him immediately they got a scammer alert.
I’m sure no one wants to suffer the psychological effect hacked account could have on the integrity of the owner.
Your account may have been compromised or hacked if: you noticed unexpected tweets by your account; you saw unintended direct messages (DMs) sent from your account; you observed other account behaviors you didn’t make or approve (like following, unfollowing, or blocking); you got a notification from twitter stating that your account may be compromised, or received a notification that your account information has changed, and you didn’t change it; you detected that your password is no longer working and you are being prompted to reset it.
The following 10 tips could help anyone on twitter to bar the hacker further access into their twitter account:
- Change your password: The first thing to do is to change your password immediately from the twitter password tab in settings or click on request a password reset from the logged out page…select a strong password you haven’t used before.
- Make sure your email address is secure: Make sure that the email address tied to your twitter account is secure and that you are the only one with access to it. You can even change your email address from the account settings tab.
- Revoke connections to third-party applications: While logged in, visit https://twitter.com/settings/applications in your settings and click on revoke access for any third-party application that you don’t recognize.
- Update your password in your trusted third-party applications: If a trusted external application uses your Twitter password, be sure to update your password in that application. Otherwise, you may be temporarily locked out to your account due to failed login attempts.
- Delete any unwanted Tweets that were posted while your account was compromised.
- Scan your computers for viruses and malware, especially if unauthorized account behaviors continue to be posted after you’ve changed the password.
- Consider using login verification instead of relying on just a password, login verification introduces a second check to make sure that you and only you can access your Twitter account.
- Always check that your browsers address bar is on https://twitter.com website before entering your password. Do you know that phishing sites often look just like twitter? So check the URL before entering your login information.
- Avoid using websites or services that promise you lots of followers. More than 99.9% of them send spam updates and damage user accounts.
- Once again, review your approved connections on your applications page…revoke access to any application you do not recognize.
Visit safe tweeting help page for more…Happy secured twitting!