Twitter Security Do’s and Don’ts

By Alexander Moya Barquero of Tecnovits. Follow him @twivits.

twitter-securityTwitter can be dangerous. That being said, Twitter is fun, useful, informative and overall entertaining; in this guest post I’d like to build upon my previous post 11 Useful Twitter Tools That Don’t Require Your Password and talk a little about security do’s and don’ts.

Twitter has become the place for events that are happening now, however with great technology, comes great responsibility. The following list contains a few basic measures we can take to ensure Twitter remains safe and fun:

Security Don’ts:

  1. Never use your password on suspicious third party sites, hundreds pop up everyday and we can not know for sure witch ones are legit.
  2. Don’t be too specific: there’s a big difference between “Just bought a gazillion caret ring on XX Avenue, leaving store now” and “Just bought and engagement ring, wish me luck!”
  3. On that note, say it, don’t spray it: Don’t spit excessive personal information, this is about as dangerous on Twitter as it is on any other social network.
  4. Call the police, don’t tweet about it!: inspired by recent news involving celebrity blogger Perez Hilton and Black Eyed Peas front man Will.I.Am.
  5. Don’t tweet about moving servers, changing passwords or any other type of situation where your security could be compromised more easily.

Security Do’s:

  1. There are hundreds of twitter tools everywhere, so try to use oath whenever possible (Oauth lets third party tools access your twitter’s information in a safe way as long as you’re logged on Twitter). In your Twitter Settings you can manage witch applications have access to your data and which don’t in the Connection tab.
  2. Choose a strong password: Twitter’s famous attacks have been known to start by a hacker guessing someone’s password. I recommend using a strong password generator.
  3. Do use direct messages when appropriate, not everything is meant to be said in the wild.
  4. Consider having a private separate account for work or project related purposes.
  5. Finally, have fun! It’s not about being paranoid .)

What other security do’s and don’ts would you recommend? Share those important tips with us on the comment section!

[image credit: seanmcgrath]

Comments

  • June 24, 2009

    Another tip: don’t tweet about your vacation if your twitter presence is tightly coupled with information which identifies you in meatspace.

    “Off to Florida with the family for a week” is an open invite for people to try and find your address….

  • June 24, 2009

    Thanks for another great post. I stumbled it.

    I believe the first step to securing your twitter account is to create a secure password.

    I personally like to use acronyms to help generate passwords. I will take a favorite line or quote from a book, movie, or song it is easy for me to remember, and then generated password using the first letter of each word.

    The resulting password looks like a mess of jumbled up letters. Add to that password a number or two and you have a fairly secure password that is easy for you to remember.

    The next step is to not give out your secure password to anyone that is not absolutely trustworthy. This includes whatever newest application that has popped up on the Internet.

  • June 24, 2009

    Nice tips, thanks. I tend to avoid giving details to any 3rd party sites.

  • June 24, 2009

    Also, don’t use the same passwords. If someone cracks your Twitter password, make sure they don’t also have access to your online banking.

  • June 24, 2009

    Great Tips! Thank you for this useful list.

  • June 24, 2009

    This goes with #2, don’t use the post location button that is available in so many Twitter clients.

  • June 24, 2009

    Love the tweet about buying the diamond ring. Very funny.

  • June 24, 2009

    And don’t Twitter on your laptop in the bathtub. Unless the bathtub is bone dry and you are too.

  • June 24, 2009

    Great stuff, but have to disagree about being too specific about your tweets. It really depends on how many followers you have and who is following you. If it’s your friends and they’re subscribed to you via SMS, tweeting your location shouldn’t necessarily be avoided.

    And on the other side, if you have a ton of users, and you want them to come out and do things with you, there is (rarely) any harm in tweeting out where you are and what you are doing.

    It’s somewhere in the middle, where you’re using your Twitter profile for business or networking where you might want to exercise some caution.

  • June 24, 2009

    Great list of dos and don’ts. I’ve been wondering about apps that require twitter password. Eventhough they say “We don’t keep it”, you have to wonder. Hijacking a Twitter account would be something desirable for a spammer, etc.

  • June 24, 2009
    Alexander Moya
    @twivits

    @WpBlogHost thats another great tip, using the same password on multiple sites could be dangerous, so a great password generator or a great method like @NicksTraffic along with a trusted password manager is a great way to go!

    @bjmendelson has another great point of view about being too specific, its all about finding balance as he points out, not being paranoid but no being to confident.

  • June 24, 2009

    Brandon Mendelson said it’s no problem to be specific about your location if you have few followers. I don’t understand that. Even if you have zero followers, everyone can see your tweets. That is, unless you have a protected (private) account. They are on http://twitter.com/public_timeline and can also be found through the search function. Someone could search for “XX Avenue” and find you that way.
    If you have a protected account, it does not make much difference if you have few or many followers, provided you only show your tweets to people you can trust.

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