You’re just been alerted to the fact that your Twitter account has been hacked… you’re anxious to discover how this could have happened and you want to know what steps to take to secure your Twitter account and ensure you don’t fall foul to this attack ever again?
In this blog post, I will walk you through how to secure your account again and also demonstrate how it happened so you can make sure you are never again a victim of a Twitter hack
How was my Twitter account hacked?
At some point recently you have received a Direct Message (DM) from someone you follow in Twitter exclaiming that you have been written about in a blog, featured in a video, included in a photo or some such other good or bad thing that includes you.
There are multiples forms of this DM so below I have copied 4 of the more common style of messages (names removed to protect the innocent!)
When you saw this DM had come from someone you recognise (because you follow them in Twitter) you believed it was genuine and clicked on the link to see what all the fuss was about..
And therein lies the root cause of your Twitter account being hacked!
Because there is no such picture/video/blog about you… the link is infected with a malicious Trojan that awards the hackers access to your Twitter account to send tweets on your behalf
I think you can guess what happens next? Yep… they send the same infected DM to all your followers and the cycle starts again!!
So, prevention is actually very simple… DON’T CLICK THE LINK!!
To be honest, I am wary of any links in DMs and don’t trust any until the sender has confirmed to me that the link is genuine. So to be safe, I would recommend you follow that strategy yourself.
Now you know how to prevent your Twitter account being hacked, let’s talk about securing your account
How do I secure my Twitter account following a hack?
Immediately change your Twitter password. This cuts the link between the hackers and your account meaning they can no longer send DMs in your name.
Next, as a precaution, click on the little cog image on the top right hand side of Twitter.com, then click on “edit profile”, on the left hand side click on “apps”
This is a list of every 3rd party application that you have granted access to your Twitter account. For example if you use Hootsuite or Tweetdeck, you will see those listed… these apps need API access to your account so you can read your tweets and respond to messages through their platform.
Now look through the list and check for any apps you don’t recognise… if you find an app connected to your Twitter account that concerns you, simply revoke access to the app by clicking the “Revoke Access” button on the right hand side.
And finally, it would be a good idea to tweet all your followers alerting them that your Twitter account has been hacked and advising them not to click on the link in any DM they have received from you.
And… relax! Your Twitter account is secure, you know how to prevent it being hacked again and you’ve done your best to warn your followers. Panic over.
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