Spam, spam and more spam. Everywhere you turn on Twitter there’s semi-naked girls tweeting their lewd links or a Direct Message informing you that there are terrible pictures of you posted on this site…and that’s just the beginning of all the ways spammers do their deeds.
Just when you think it’s safe to go back into social media, when you think the powers that be have the problem under control, the spammers figure out new and interesting ways to be annoying. That’s why this post is dedicated to sharing tips on how we all can battle back against the spammers and hackers that make social media a little less fun.
How You Can Help in the Fight Against Twitter Spammers and Hackers
#1: Block Early, Block Often – As soon as someone starts tweeting you with an irrelevant message that includes a link, especially when it’s the very first interaction, check their profile and their tweet stream. If they are a) a relatively new profile that is following very few people and b) if they are tweeting the same message with a link to a long list of names, they are a spammer. Report and Block immediately.
#2: Watch Out for Fake Profiles – So you see the smiling face of a follower friend tweeting something from months ago, check to confirm that the Twitter handle is indeed your friend. This is a nasty trick the spammers play. They take a legitimate profile, copy the photo and description (usually with the addition of a few weird typos) and start tweeting the tweets they previously tweeted. Report and Block AND tell your real friend to report it to Twitter as a copycat account.
#3: Tell Friends When You Think They’ve Been Hacked – When you get that telltale Direct Message telling you that there are awful, embarrassing or funny pictures of you on this site or any odd variation on that theme (and it’s from one of your followers who you know isn’t a spammer), let them know that they’ve been hacked before the problem gets out of control.
#4: Change Your Passwords Frequently – And for goodness sake, don’t use silly, obvious ones like PASSWORD or your favorite password that you use for everything. Use a password keeper, like 1Password or LastPass, to both store and generate new passwords and change your passwords on a regular basis.
#5: Watch Out for Phishing Schemes – Twitter will never contact you via email, Direct Message or @reply asking for your password! EVER! According to their security center, they will, however, reset your password and email you a link to http://twitter.com (and no other site) asking you to enter a new password and never your old password.
#6: Be Careful What Third Party Apps You Use – Only use external applications that require OAuth, meaning you can authorize the application to access your account without giving out your password. It’s also a good idea to review the apps that you have granted access to and remove any you aren’t currently using by going to your Profile Settings and clicking Apps!
And it’s a good idea to follow @Safety on Twitter for updates and the latest news on ongoing security threats and tips!