I have been using Twitter for many years now and currently manage multiple accounts for clients. I have witnessed a huge surge recently in fake accounts, spamming and people having their Twitter account hacked. Which I suppose was inevitable, but will sadden me greatly if it turns Twitter into an environment where users don’t feel safe to communicate and share.
Image via The Redhead Riter
Hacking and spamming is not unique to Twitter, and the same rules that apply in other on-line communication apply on this platform.
The first you will probably know of it if your Twitter account is hacked is that a nice follower of yours will Direct Message (DM) you (please don’t Tweet the poor person that has been hacked and @ tag them – they will be embarrassed enough as it is!) to say that they think you have been hacked. This will be because you have unwittingly sent them a DM along the lines of:
wow your busted in the video [dodgy link]
what are you doing in this video [dodgy link]
Now to me these scream of being SPAM – but for those new to Twitter they may not. I can tell you it is so DO NOT click on the link! Please just DM your poor Twitter friend back and let them know.
What they need to do is immediately change their password and check that nothing else has been changed on their account. Delete any spam messages they have unwittingly sent and check their PC security software is up-to-date. Twitter provide some useful advice.
In general follow these rules to try and keep Twitter a safe, spam free environment for us all:
– Regularly change your Twitter password and try to make it something a bit complex and complicated (combination of letters and numbers usually works well).
– Do not follow accounts that have ‘eggs’ as their profile picture and no bio about who they are. As a general rule a genuine Twitter account will have about the same amount of followers to following (unless they are celebrities, then they will usually be verified by Twitter if they are genuine). Genuine Tweeters will also be tweeting regularly and involved in conversations with other
– If you are tagged in a Tweet from what appears to be a person that you don’t know with just a link DO NOT click on the link or follow them. Click on their profile and go to the drop down arrow which should give you an option to ‘Report spam’ and ‘Block’. Generally these accounts will have tweeted a lot but have no followers or people they are following.
– If a profile, message or link looks dodgy then it probably is so just ignore or delete it (as you would a SPAM email).