The Battle Against SPAM: How You Can Help in the Fight Against Twitter Spammers and Hackers

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!

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About Carla Young
Carla Young, MOMeoMagazine.com Publisher If there’s living proof that women can have it all – and then some – it’s Carla Young. Building her multiple businesses on a virtual work-at-home model, Carla is an inspiration to other mothers who want to start a lifestyle business. During her early days as a mom entrepreneur, Carla made every single mistake in the book (and a few new ones for good measure). Realizing that “doing it all” was unhealthy and unsustainable, Carla started by getting organized to the extreme, developing support systems for both her work and family. After other mothers started asking how they too could enjoy her lifestyle, Carla launched MOMeoMagazine.com to support moms at work, at home and at play (because every mommy deserves a little me-time)!

  • Rdopping

    Finally some social media logic. I need that password app. Can you believe I use an excel doc to trak all my passwords? What a rookie. Thaks Carla.

  • http://momeomagazine.com/ Carla Young

     EGADS! Get a password app now!

  • http://wordgrrls.com/ Laura

    #7 Be choosy about who you follow.

    #8 Don’t join those follow everyone schemes.

    In general, don’t feed the spammers.

  • http://momeomagazine.com/ Carla Young

     Exactly!

  • joeflyde

    With so many apps moving to the web, a pwd app will become a valuable commidity.

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  • Julie

    I just started a twitter account for my business, and I have been amazed at how many spam messages I have been receiving!  This is excellent advice!

  • Sammi J09052012

    Why? I’ve had nothing but trouble ever since I joined Twitter. I intend on closing my account just to get rid of the nasty lot. It’s obviously not going to work for me when I’m trying to build up my interest in book writing skills. Would have been great connecting with other genuine authors but there’s only about six ish I’ve found. Wish i could stay if only for those ones sakes but it’s hard to leave the trusting ones. Unless they wish to join me on Facebook. Is that feasible?
    Especially before i close the Twitter account? Please let me know if I’m trying doing the right thing or not. Thanks for reading this x

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