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secure your twitter accountTwitter accounts are juicy targets for scammers and malware What Is The Difference Between A Worm, A Trojan & A Virus? [MakeUseOf Explains] What Is The Difference Between A Worm, A Trojan & A Virus? [MakeUseOf Explains] Some people call any type of malicious software a "computer virus," but that isn't accurate. Viruses, worms, and trojans are different types of malicious software with different behaviors. In particular, they spread themselves in very... Read More distributors. Once someone compromises your Twitter account, they can send out tweets with links to scams and malware, bombarding your followers with their junk. Strengthen your Twitter account’s security and prevent it from being used to attack your followers with these tips.

Twitter has improved security over time by enabling HTTPS What Is HTTPS & How To Enable Secure Connections Per Default What Is HTTPS & How To Enable Secure Connections Per Default Security concerns are spreading far and wide and have reached the forefront of most everybody's mind. Terms like antivirus or firewall are no longer strange vocabulary and are not only understood, but also used by... Read More for everyone (you can’t even opt out of it anymore), but there are still many things you can do to secure your Twitter account. Unfortunately, Twitter doesn’t yet offer two-factor authentication What Is Two-Factor Authentication, And Why You Should Use It What Is Two-Factor Authentication, And Why You Should Use It Two-factor authentication (2FA) is a security method that requires two different ways of proving your identity. It is commonly used in everyday life. For example paying with a credit card not only requires the card,... Read More .

Manage Third-Party Apps

When you allow a third-party application to access your Twitter account, Twitter remembers this and always allows the application to connect in the future.  You should select the third-party applications you use carefully – some applications request permission to send tweets and direct messages. If the application is malicious or becomes compromised in the future, it could use your Twitter account to send out spam messages.

To manage the applications allowed access to your account, click the Apps tab on the settings page. Use the Revoke access button to disable access for applications you no longer use.

secure your twitter account

Don’t Reuse Passwords

The standard advice to use a strong password still applies, but it’s important that you don’t reuse passwords. If you use the same password for your Twitter account as you do for other services, it’s possible that a security leak at another service could expose your password and give malicious people access to your account. This isn’t just a theoretical problem – there have been a long string of password leaks Passwords Stolen From Last.FM, eHarmony And LinkedIn [Updates] Passwords Stolen From Last.FM, eHarmony And LinkedIn [Updates] The discovery of password security breaches at three popular sites has yet again reminded the web that using the same password for every site isn't a good idea. Passwords have been stolen from millions of... Read More at websites as big as Yahoo!, LinkedIn, and eHarmony. Many people have had accounts at various websites stolen because they reused a password that became public knowledge.

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You can change your Twitter password from the Password page in Twitter’s account settings.

To help manage all these unique passwords and simplify your life, decide on a password management strategy Use A Password Management Strategy To Simplify Your Life Use A Password Management Strategy To Simplify Your Life Much of the advice around passwords has been near-impossible to follow: use a strong password containing numbers, letters and special characters; change it regularly; come up with a completely unique password for each account etc.... Read More .

Use a URL Expander

Twitter’s character restrictions mean that many people use URL shorteners like bit.ly to share URLs. Instead of seeing a link like http://badwebsite.biz/scam, you’ll see something like http://bit.ly/ABcd. You won’t find out where the link goes before you click it.

You can use a URL expander to “unshorten” these short URLs, revealing the full address they go to without first clicking the link. There are two different types of URL expanders you can use – a web-based one that allows you to copy-paste links into a web page or a browser extension that automatically unshortens links on Twitter after you install it.

LongURL is a good web-based URL expander. For more options, read: Reveal Where Short Links Really Go To With These URL Expanders Reveal Where Short Links Really Go To With These URL Expanders Reveal Where Short Links Really Go To With These URL Expanders A few years ago, I didn’t even know what a shortened URL was. Today, it’s all you see, everywhere, all the time. The rapid rise of Twitter brought a never-ending need to use as few... Read More

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Beware Phishing

You should access Twitter by typing twitter.com into your address bar or using a bookmark instead of clicking links on other web pages. Make sure your address bar says twitter.com, not something sneaky like twitter.com.ru.

(Yes, we have links to Twitter’s various settings pages in this article to help you out — but trust no one online. Check your address bar and make sure you actually end up at twitter.com after you click them; it’s good practice.)

If you unexpectedly see a Twitter login page after clicking a link on Twitter – or anywhere else on the web — don’t just type your password in. Check that you’re actually on twitter.com.

Read more: What Exactly Is Phishing & What Techniques Are Scammers Using? What Exactly Is Phishing & What Techniques Are Scammers Using? What Exactly Is Phishing & What Techniques Are Scammers Using? I’ve never been a fan of fishing, myself. This is mostly because of an early expedition where my cousin managed to catch two fish while I caught zip. Similar to real-life fishing, phishing scams aren’t... Read More

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Restrict Password Resets

Twitter allows anyone to initiate a password reset for your account by simply entering your @username. You’ll receive a password reset email if this occurs. If you accidentally click the link in the email, your password will be reset. To lock down this feature – particularly useful if you’re receiving password reset emails other people are initiating – open your Twitter account settings page.

Scroll down to the bottom of the page and enable the Require personal information to reset my password checkbox to the right of Password reset. You’ll have to enter your email address or phone number to initiate a password reset.

secure your twitter account

Improve Your Browser & Computer Security

Assuming you’re accessing Twitter from a web browser on your computer, improving your browser’s security will allow you to click links in tweets without worry. Here are the things you can do:

Lend a Helping Hand

If you ever see a friend send out scammy-looking tweet or direct message, contact them and let them know their account has been compromised.

Whether it’s your friend’s account or your account, follow Twitter’s instructions for recovering from a compromised account: change your password, revoke connections to third-party apps, and add the new password to the Twitter apps you use.

For more information about Twitter, download our complete guide to Twitter and Twitter cheat sheet.

Have you ever had your Twitter account compromised? Do you have any other tips to secure your Twitter account? Chime in in the comments!

  1. Mike Kettle
    December 17, 2012 at 6:46 pm

    Amazing article, thanks a ton!

  2. Junil Maharjan
    December 16, 2012 at 5:12 am

    Helps a lot.

  3. Ron Lister
    December 16, 2012 at 2:16 am

    Good tips, I use most of them. So far so good.

  4. Mac Witty
    December 15, 2012 at 12:43 pm

    No problem so fare, touch wood! Think I do most of it, except URL expander.

  5. Angelo Polveroso
    December 14, 2012 at 11:31 pm

    Now I know why I've been receiving SPAM from some Twitter users. Thank you, very much. Sharing.

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