How to Keep Your Twitter Account from Being Hacked

How to Keep Your Twitter Account from Being Hacked

Yesterday, the Syrian Electronic Army (SEA) hacked into Twitter and altered DNS records for various accounts, causing the New York Times site to shut-down. Last week, 15,000 Twitter accounts were accessed and hackers leaked user IDs and OAuth tokens which are used to connect Twitter users to third-party sites and apps . This begs the question: What can you do to protect your account as much as possible?

twitter bird by shawn campbell

Credit: Shawn Campbell

1. Don't underestimate the value of frequently changing your password and making it something unique. Including a mix of upper and lower case letters, symbols and numbers adds to your password's strength.

2. Don't click on suspicious links. If someone says there is a hilarious picture of you or that you can lose a massive amount of weight in three days, don't believe them. When in doubt, message the sender to find out if it's legitimate.

3. To prevent the distribution of your OAuth data, regularly check which third-parties have access to your account. In Twitter settings, click Apps and you will be taken to a list of products to whom you've granted permission.

twitter OAuth apps

More than likely, you'll find a much longer list of app authorizations than you thought. Remember the time you used Twitter to log-in and leave comments on those Squarespace, WordPress, or Typepad blogs? They all now have access to your Twitter account. So do Vine, Instagram, FourSquare, and lots of others.

Set aside one day each month to change your password and review your third-party permissions. It isn't foolproof, but it's the best thing you can do to keep your content secure.

You can read more about connecting or revoking third-party applications in Twitter's Help Center.

When she isn't tweeting, pinning, or posting for the BlogHer community of 92 million women, Diane can be found blogging at Momo Fali, where she writes about her sports-fanatic husband, teen daughter and her special-needs son.


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