I know a number of new Twitter users who have been very concerned about suspect Direct Messages into their accounts. This has, unfortunately, made them scared of using Twitter. If you have any issues with dodgy DMs containing links do not worry. It is safest to assume DMs with links are suspect if you are unsure and the best thing to do is DELETE and DO NOT CLICK THE LINK.
Don’t let the hackers spoil your appreciation of Twitter. The world doesn’t come to an end as you know it. You simply take sensible precautions to avoid problems. Twitter has lots of helpful advice on what to do. If someone has done this to you or you are worried you can always find out how to deal with it. Why not do a little research to learn how to secure your account and prevent problems resulting from hacking. Sometimes hackers can prevent you from logging into your own account. If you are having such issues see what Twitter can suggest. I just did and there is a lot of help and advice out there.
How does hacking happen?
Malicious third party applications or websites may encourage you to give your Twitter password to them on the pretext of signing up for their app or offer. In addition, weak passwords make your account vulnerable (use a mix of upper and lower case letters and digits). Viruses or malware on your computer or network can also quietly collect passwords.
Unexpected updates don’t always mean that your account was hacked. Occasionally, a third-party application can have a bug that causes unexpected behavior. If you see strange behavior, changing your password and/or revoking connections will stop it, as the application will no longer have access to your account.
It’s best to take action as soon as possible if updates are appearing in your account that you did not post or approve. You can find more information about account security on the Safe Tweeting help page.
To determine if your account has been hacked consider the following:
- Are you receiving DMs saying”Have you seen this picture ….” – usually contains a link? (Clicking link is not a good idea)
- Are you aware of unexpected Tweets from your account?
- Have you noticed unintended direct messages (DMs) sent from your account
- Have you seen other account activity which you are not happy about (like following, unfollowing, or blocking)
- Has Twitter advised you that “You recently changed the email address associated with your Twitter account.” (even though you haven’t changed your email address)?
If any of these apply to your account:
1. Always change your password and make the new one stronger
Do not delay – change your password immediately. Use a strong password you haven’t used before. If you can’t log in to your account, go to the troubleshooting page.
2. Revoke third-party applications
3. Update your password in your trusted third-party applications
If a trusted external application uses your Twitter password, don’t forget to update your password in that application. Otherwise, you may be temporarily locked out of your account due to failed login attempts.
Your account should now be secure, and you shouldn’t see the unexpected account behaviors moving forward. If you’re still experiencing issues, you must file a Support request with Twitter for further assistance.
For further help visit the Safe Tweeting help page for more information on avoiding hacks and phishing.