When your Twitter account gets hacked, many things could happen. One of the most common things to happen is that all your followers (who you’re also following) will receive a DM (Direct Message). The message normally takes a standard format, and is along the lines of:
- Hello some person is making very bad rumors about you…
- Hello this user is making really bad things about you…
- Hello some person is posting nasty things about you…
- Hi someone is saying horrible things about you…
- Hey somebody is posting terrible rumors about you…
- Hi someone is posting really bad things about you..
- Hello somebody is posting horrible things about you…
- rofl…OMG I’m laughing so hard at this picture of u someone uploaded
Followed by a shortened link for you to click. Most people would think ‘Oh My Goodness’ and click the link without hesitation, to see what these terrible rumours are, or what the picture is of. The link goes to a page that looks like Twitter, and asks you to log in. Once you enter your log in details, you’ve then given the hackers access to your account.
Following on from this, the hackers will start to post tweets to your account. Normally these are spam Tweets, along the lines of ‘Lose 20lbs with this amazing weight loss plan’ or something similar. These are all spam, and more than likely something that your followers don’t need.
We know of lots of people, who have had this happen to them, and then closed their Twitter account, never to return to one of the best Social Marketing sites again. There is no need for this to happen. Just follow the steps below:
- If your account has been hacked, log in via the proper twitter page at https://twitter.com/ Check the padlock is there, and it shows Twitter Inc US as the certificate holder.
- Change your password. Don’t make it similar or near your last password. Make sure it is a different length and contains a mixture of letters and numbers.
- If you have allowed 3rd party apps access to your Twitter account, revoke this by visiting the ‘applications’ tab in account settings.
These steps should hopefully stop the hackers from accessing your account with almost immediate effect.
Then we need to think about how to protect ourselves again in the future. Here at BadgesPatches we manage about 15 different Twitter accounts, totally about 120k followers across them all. We receive these DM’s every day, and every day we ignore them.
- If you receive a DM, and are a little bit unsure if its real or spam, send a DM back to the sender asking them. Most people don’t mind this.
- Never enter your Twitter password on a site, unless you are 100% sure it is the real Twitter site. If you click the link in a DM whilst logged into Twitter, and it goes to a page asking for your Twitter login credentials, you can be fairly sure its a hackers page you’ve gone to.
- If you do receive a DM, and know its spam, refer the sender to this page, so they can stop them being sent any more.
Twitter has a really helpful Help Center, that contains many tips on how to protect your account once its been compromised. It can be found at http://support.twitter.com/articles/31796