Twitter is like a giant party in a community of over 18 million people, and there’s bound to be a few apples in the bunch who want to cause trouble. You can get around some of those problems by locking down your Twitter account and being aware of some of the potential problems you might run into when you’re tweeting. Just follow these simple Twitter tips and use your common sense, and you’ll be much ahead of the “safe twittering” curve.
- Good, strong passwords.
The creation of a good password cannot be stressed enough! Make sure to create a password that’s difficult for others to figure out and contains a mix of letters and numbers. Also try to use a different password than you use on other social networking sites in case one of the passwords gets cracked or is leaked out. Read more about how to create a strong password on our blog.
- URL shorteners.
Sites like bit.ly, ow.ly, and cli.gs are great URL shortening services, especially when someone wants to link to websites in 140 characters or less. But if you don’t know the person who tweeted with a shortened URL, you’re never quite sure what you’re going to get. (OK, that’s not 100% true*) Be careful what you click on!
- Are you (literally) on Twitter.com?
Scammers and spammers love to build lookalike sites to try and trick you into submitting your user names and passwords to them instead of the real thing. Before you log in, check the address bar to make sure you’re actually on Twitter.com and not some scam website. Learn more about how to figure out if you’re on a fake website or a real one on the StopSign blog.
- Third party access.
There are some really neat services out there like We Follow and Twitter Grader that help enhance your Twitter experience and learn more about your tweeting habits; but there are also some fishy ones too. Make sure to regularly check your Connections settings in Twitter to clear out any unexpected or suspect applications that have been given access to your account. And if they offer it, connect using OAuth, as it’s much safer than supplying your user name and password to a strange website.
- Phishy phish.
You’ve got to be diligent about reading DM’s and @ mentions (there’s a particularly nasty trick going around now where a scammer will @ mention you regarding something you’ve tweeted about and there’s a shortened URL to a spam site in the mention – do NOT click on it!). There always seems to be a phishing scams of some kind happening on Twitter, so make sure you know what you’re clicking on or responding to.
- Don’t get too personal.
It’s really important that you don’t expose too much information about yourself or your family online. The wrong tweet can get you on a spammers list, or at worst, can lead crazies on the Internet right to your front door. We’ve got tips on how to stay safe online and offline.
For more information on Twitter security, check out the official Twitter help article on safe tweeting.
*OK, technically you can preview any bit.ly URL by adding a “+” to the end of the URL. Other sites and/or services may do the same; but the main issue is that URL shorteners, by default and by design, do not natively display the destination URL. Back to the top