How to not get your Twitter Hacked

I’ve seen a lot of Twitter friends lately who have either been hacked or have started selling Viagra as a side gig. As a public service, here’s how I play it safe on Twitter and do my best to keep those nasty folks out of my account.

#1 Use a strong password

I don’t mean your dog’s name with the first letter capitalized and 123 at the end, I mean a really strong password. I use 1Password to manage my bazillions of logon and password combinations. It will not only generate huge 101 random character passwords for you but it will also log you into your accounts and websites super fast with auto fill. The best part… you won’t even know what your password is or need to remember it, you just need to remember one master password for everything! Check 1Password out or one of their competitors and see if one of these systems will work for you. Either that or Google “strong password generator” and use one of the free online sites or just try to come up with something that a computer can’t guess.

Example…

Poochy123 = please hack me!

71)T71SJ2861{A3B-2)j>”#’D>]38J==x25n7N5%f]lc8,n;y{&06-5Cf8[+@;T{,]Q~[r2l03T{1S6v6{‘6@’Z1UM3UL67]0xrB = strong password

So here’s how to change your password… Start by going to settings:

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Click on Password… Then update your password here…

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#2 Don’t use the same password on every site

Why? Because if you get hacked on Twitter and you use the same password for your bank account, LinkedIn, Dropbox, Evernote, Facebook etc. you’re going to get royally Pwned.

#3 Clean up your apps

Next to crappy weak pwnable passwords, the next biggest gaping hole in your Twitter account for hackers to exploit is your huge list of apps. Seriously, check out how many apps you have allowed to access your Twitter account over the years. It will blow your mind! If a hacker compromises an app, he can do whatever you have allowed that app to do with your account. Check out some of the permissions you have given your various apps and you’ll understand why this is a problem.

Here’s how to clean up your apps… Start by going to settings:

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Then click on Apps…  and then Revoke Access to anything you don’t need. Medium? Tweetbot? Clearly I need to do some house cleaning while I’m at it too.

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#4 Update your Security and Privacy settings

Click on Security and Privacy…. and then add your cell phone number to your account. This will make Twitter verify login attempts and notify you if you try to login to your Twitter account from Buenos Aires when you’re actually in say… Brantford.

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Next… don’t make it easy for someone else to reset your password. Click on the checkbox to Require personal information to reset my password. It’s probably not all that hard for a determined hacker to figure out your cell phone number or your email address but this one little checkbox will keep out most everyone else.

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Now scroll down to the Privacy section… and get as paranoid as you want. I won’t judge. My preferences include NOT providing a Tweet location so I have this box unchecked. I’m also not keen on having people find me on Twitter by my email address as it can also be used as a second factor for identification to reset my password.  Choose the settings that make you feel the most comfortable and then don’t forget to hit SAVE. The SAVE button will save all of the changes you made to both Security and Privacy.

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 Conclusion…

While there is absolutely no guarantee that your Twitter account will not get hacked after taking these steps, you will certainly decrease the likelihood of it happening by… a lot.

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