Three threats to your company Twitter account – and how to avoid them 

Following a number of high-profile security breaches on Twitter, Mike Newman of password management service my1login discusses how businesses can stay vigilant on the social network.

Following a number of high-profile security breaches on Twitter, Mike Newman of password management service my1login discusses how businesses can stay vigilant on the social network.

In recent months, many high-profile individuals and organisations, including the BBC, USA Today, Burger King and HMV, have learned just how easy it is to lose control of their Twitter accounts. The reputational cost of having your Twitter account hijacked can be significant, so it makes sense to take steps to avoid it. 

Here are a few of the most common ways to lose control of your Twitter account:

Phishing scams

Phishing is the process whereby online criminals try to trick you into handing over personal information such as login credentials. Typically, you’ll receive a message that your account has been compromised or that ‘Someone is saying nasty things about you on Twitter’. The message will encourage you to click a link which will take you to a site which looks like Twitter, but is actually a ‘spoof’ website designed to capture your login and password details.

To protect yourself, never click on a link received via an email or direct message which asks you to enter personal details. Instead, visit your account directly or contact the Twitter Support Team to ascertain the validity of any alert you receive.

Poor password practices

Ensure that the password for your Twitter account is a strong one – it should be at least 14 characters long and feature a mixture of upper case, lower case, numbers and symbols and should be completely unique to that account.

Using the same password across multiple online accounts significantly increases the chances of your Twitter account being hacked. If another account of yours is compromised, perhaps on a less-secure website, those same credentials will often be tried on popular services such as Twitter.

Try not to write your passwords down, and don’t save them on spreadsheets or in your phone. If you find it difficult to remember a variety of passwords, use a free password management service, to manage access to your online accounts.

Out-of-date access permissions

One of the easiest ways to lose control of what is posted via your Twitter account is to lose track of who actually has access to the account. HMV recently suffered the embarrassment of having a number of reputation-damaging tweets posted on their official account by a member of staff who had been made redundant.

To avoid this type of situation, it’s important to keep a full and up-to-date record of exactly who knows your business’s Twitter login details and be sure to change the password whenever someone moves on or is let go by your organisation.

See also: Optimising Twitter for business

Mike

Shanna Little

Mike Newman is CEO of My1Login, a provider of next generation Identity and Access Management solutions.

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