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Posts Tagged ‘twitter exploit’

Heartbleed: Should You Change Your Social Media Passwords? [INFOGRAPHIC]

Heartbleed: Should You Change Your Social Media Passwords? [INFOGRAPHIC]

The Heartbleed bug is a serious vulnerability in the popular OpenSSL cryptographic software library, which is used throughout the internet by pretty much every major website, ranging from Google to Facebook, Pinterest to Twitter. The security breach was fixed with the latest version of OpenSSL, and the internet was quick to patch the flaw.

However, half a million websites were believed to have been affected by Heartbleed, and it’s the responsibility of admins to install the fix. So… should you change your Twitter password?

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Twitter, Amazon, NASDAQ, Target – 2013′s Biggest Digital Disasters [INFOGRAPHIC]

Twitter, Amazon, NASDAQ, Target - 2013's Biggest Digital Disasters [INFOGRAPHIC]

2013 was a great year for social media but a somewhat forgettable one for online security, with a series of high-profile software glitches and exploits causing a lot of damage, both in reputations and finances, throughout the year.

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Apple, Facebook, Zendesk, Twitter – Was Your Data Compromised In 2013? [INFOGRAPHIC]

Apple, Facebook, Zendesk, Twitter - Was Your Data Compromised In 2013? [INFOGRAPHIC]

2013 was a great year for social media, but a lousy year for digital privacy – certainly if the large number of serious data breaches of some of the most widely used services on the web are used as a measure.

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Be Safe On Twitter – Remove Unwanted Apps To Stop Automated Tweets, Password Abuse And Hacking

Through its API, Twitter allows developers to write scripts and clients that provide a wealth of extra features and functionality to enrich the micro-blogging experience.

Most of these applications are completely legitimate and include things like Twitter for iPhone, Flipboard,, Twittercounter and Posterous.

Sometimes we accidentally authorise unwelcom scripts to access our Twitter profiles, which can lead to unwelcome automated tweets and direct messages, and even password exploits and the spread of malware.

If your Twitter profile is behaving strangely, there’s a good chance that you’ve provided access to one or more of these unsavoury guests. Fortunately, it’s easy to be rid of them once and for all. You just have to be a little responsible.

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Protect Yourself From Being Phished On Twitter By Unfollowing Repeat Offenders

There’s another phishing attack on Twitter, and yet again it’s being spread by direct message.

(You can read all the details over at Mashable.)

Here’s what I think you need to do. If you get any of these malicious direct messages, please don’t click on the links, but do make a note of the user(s) that sent them to you. Is that name familiar? Have they fallen foul of these phishing scams before? Several times?

Yet Another Phishing Attack On Twitter - Please Protect Yourself By Unfollowing Repeat OffendersDo they always seem to be affected by these kinds of exploits?

If so, unfollow them. Don’t hesitate, do it right now. And seriously, seriously consider a block, too.

Reality check: it’s probably a safe bet that virtually every single one of us will be conned by something on the internet before we bite the dust. As human and artificial intelligence-slash-guile continues to develop, we’re all potential marks.

People make mistakes, and when something happens to somebody else on Twitter it’s fantastic if you can take a moment to explain to them what they did, and hopefully educate them enough so they won’t do the exact same thing a month or two later.

But if you have users in your network who are always getting tricked, and who are repeatedly getting their accounts compromised, then you need to let them go. Because nice as they might be as people, as long as you’re connected then their neglect and technical naivety becomes yours (by proxy).

It’s a phishing attack today – it might be something a heck of a lot worse this time next week. This might seem harsh, but this is your security at stake. And while there’s any kind of link between you and them, and despite how savvy you think you might be, the odds of YOU getting caught out will continue to increase dramatically each time they screw up.

(PS. If it makes you feel better, send them an email or open tweet explaining why you had no choice. Just don’t click on any links that they send back.)

5 Ways You Can Stay Safe On Twitter

As Twitter grows in popularity, like Facebook it begins to resemble almost an internet within the internet. Indeed, if Facebook is the second internet, there’s a strong argument that Twitter, even with its relatively slight 25 million users, is the third.

With all the good that comparison brings, it also means a lot of the less savoury elements of the web arrive in abundance, too.

Here are five tips (and the now-compulsory bonus) to help you stay safe on Twitter.

  1. Regularly change your password, particularly during any kind of phishing or XSS exploit. You don’t have to be paranoid, but use your common sense. If there’s any potential  risk to your password at all, why not just change it?
  2. Consider using a URL expander (or software where it comes built-in) before clicking on a shortened link. Most shortened URLs are perfectly safe, but a certain percentage are going to lead you to places you don’t want to go, and might be harmful to your computer. Again: common sense prevails. Do you know the user who shared the link? Do you trust them? Is this the kind of content they typically share?
  3. Be mindful of the things you say, as anybody could be reading. Who’s the worst person in the world that you can think of that might be reading your tweets? Your boss? Your mother? Your fiancée? If you always write with them in mind, you’re unlikely to go too far off course.
  4. If you post under an alias, considering reserving your real name for future use and to protect from identity fraud. You never know when you might hit it big. Even if you think there’s no chance whatsoever, it costs you nothing and takes less than five minutes. Why not do it?
  5. Take responsibility and make sure you’ve authorised all external connections to your account. If something is tweeting on your behalf, most of the time it’s because you ticked a box somewhere. Find that connection, and remove it.

BONUS: This is more of a request, actually – petition Twitter to let us backup our accounts. Currently, there’s no way to do this, which means if something happens to your profile there’s a risk you could lose everything. What if you get hacked, and the exploiter decides to delete everything you’ve ever written, unfollow all your friends, and generally run rampant? Sure, you can start over, but lots of us have a genuine history on the network. All those connections, and all that metadata, could be lost. There are various services that let you save your data offline, but there’s no way to get that back on to Twitter. And the only way I see that happening is if Twitter takes responsibility and provides us with this service.

I’ve made this point a couple of times but it’s worth saying again just in case it didn’t take – there’s no need to be paranoid about using social media. But it absolutely pays to be smart about it, too. And by following the guidelines above you can significantly improve the chances that your Twitter experience is always a good one.