Twitter suffered a major hacking fiasco in which the accounts of several prominent people and companies were exploited to promote a cryptocurrency scam.
The goal was to steal bitcoins from unsuspecting users by promising them double the amount they sent to the bitcoin address listed in the malicious tweet.
The incident also shines a light on the way cybercriminals abuse the trust many people have in social media as well as their willingness to respond to any kind of get rich quick scam they find, especially if it is from a supposedly trusted source.
The episode calls into question the security of social networks, especially ones such as Twitter, which many people rely on as a source of news and information. The onus is on companies like Twitter to tighten their security and better educate their employees.
You can review and tighten your security either through the Twitter website or through the mobile app.
On the website, click More and then select Settings and privacy. In the app, tap your profile picture and then tap Settings and privacy. The next steps are the same for the site and the app.
Select Account and then Password. If you are using a simple or weak password here is the place to change it. Type your current password. Enter and then re-enter a new password.
Next, select Security. This setting offers two options. Two factor authentication (2FA) and password reset protection. Select two factor authentication to enable it.
Choose your preferred method text whether its message, authentication app or a physical security key. A text or authentication app will work with both the Twitter website and the Twitter app. A security key will work only with the website on a PC.
You can also set a backup code to use to sign into Twitter if your two-factor authentication method is not available. In addition, you can create a one-time password to use as a temporary method with a third party website or app that needs access to Twitter.
Two factor authentication is still the recommended security method. You should combine 2FA with the other available security methods offered by sites like Twitter. To continue, go to the Privacy and safety screen under Settings and privacy.
Depending on how much time and effort you are able to spend managing your Twitter account there are several steps you can take here.
You can opt to protect your tweets so only people who follow you can see them. In this case you will have to approve every new follower which can be time consuming. You can also turn off photo tagging so other people can’t identify you by your photo in a tweet.
You can turn off the ability of anyone to send you a direct message and control read receipts for such messages. If you don’t watch live video via Twitter’s Periscope feature you can turn off the switch for Connect to Periscope.
Select the option for Discoverability and contacts and turn off the ability to let others find you by email or by phone.
In the Safety section you can view and manage any accounts that have been muted or blocked.
In the Location section turn off Precise location to prevent Twitter from tracking your location. Finally the section for Personalisation and data allows you to control personalised ads and other content for which Twitter collects information about you.