Twitter has been around for a decade now, and with almost two billion users on its platform, it’s easy to see why so many people love it. It’s also one of those social media platforms we all know about but don’t really understand too well. So, what exactly does Twitter do? How can you make sure your Twitter account stays safe from hackers? And finally, how can you improve your online security further? Let us explain.
What is Twitter?
In short, Twitter allows anyone in the world to connect via their website and follow others they want to keep up with. Tweets include text, links, photos, videos, GIFs and audio files, and users can post them so that others can instantly read once published.
There are tons of third-party applications available that allow interaction between different services, such as Google Drive, YouTube, Facebook and WhatsApp, which are tools will find useful if you have multiple accounts across various networks.
The most popular form of communication over Twitter is through direct messages (DMs), which let you send private messages directly to another user’s profile without going into public view. They’re perfect for sending sensitive information privately.
Cybercriminals target any service where money can be made quickly and easily by stealing valuable data. In this case, Twitter offers numerous ways for cybercriminals to steal your personal information, including phishing attacks, password theft and more.
If a criminal gains access to your Twitter account, they could change your username, email address, phone number and password to take control of your other connected accounts – and this means they would have complete control over your digital life!
This article aims to help answer some common questions related to Twitter security while offering tips on staying safe on this platform.
What are the risks of an unprotected Twitter account?
Cybercriminals often try to hack your account because of the massive amount of attention Twitter gains every day. The majority of the time, when someone hacks a Twitter account, they don’t obtain full access to everything. Instead, they only obtain certain parts of the system, like login details and credentials. However, hackers could still potentially take advantage of compromised accounts to commit malicious acts against innocent victims.
As mentioned earlier, since Twitter provides several ways for potential attackers to get hold of your account, cybercriminals can exploit each of these loopholes to steal your identity. For example, hackers might create fake profiles under your name and pretend to be you on Twitter, or they may impersonate you by pretending to reply to your posts after gaining unauthorized access to your account. Once they successfully acquire your real identity, they can start making fraudulent purchases and transferring funds from your bank account. If done cleverly enough, they can even open new credit cards in your name.
Many cyber-attacks usually involve a combination of malware installation and stolen credentials. As such, keeping track of the latest threats and adopting effective measures to avoid being targeted by hackers can significantly reduce your chances of falling victim.
What are virtual numbers and how to use them?
You should never share your actual mobile phone number with third-party apps unless necessary. That way, if someone gets hold of your smartphone, they won’t be able to sign into additional accounts because of the unique device identifier shared within your SIM card. Virtual numbers are anonymous codes that look just like regular phone numbers. They are ideal for protecting your privacy when you create a Twitter account.
Even though some companies offer free virtual numbers and you can register at no cost, chances are they won’t work properly to verify Twitter, so to get one that will actually work, you can simply purchase them from virtual numbers providers like Major Phones.
Why are 2FA and strong passwords important?
One of the easiest ways to prevent unauthorized logins to your Twitter account is to add two-factor authentication (2FA) to it. Once you enable it, whenever you attempt to log in to your Twitter account, you’ll receive a verification message containing either a temporary password or a randomly generated 6-digit numeric passcode texted to your phone. Only authorized devices can receive texts sent to your phone number, and these SMS codes expire after 48 hours, meaning somebody can break into your Twitter account if they manage to guess your password.
With 2FA activated, you will need to confirm your identity by adding a second layer of protection to your Twitter account. Hackers can’t bypass 2FA because they wouldn’t know your secret recovery key.
Most reputable sites use two-step verification (2SV), which combines both physical tokens and software-based methods. Tokens are hardware devices that generate random numbers similar to ATM cards, while software authenticators come as app keys downloaded to smartphones. Some banks provide 2SV solutions.
When choosing a strong password, avoid predictable patterns like sequential letters, dictionary words, birthdays and pet names. Also, choose a password that isn’t used anywhere else. Finally, use a password manager tool.
Here are six practical steps you can follow to ensure proper password management and more robust security:
- Use a password manager tool to store and sync your passwords across devices.
- Create complex passwords that are difficult to crack. Password managers automatically test your passwords’ strength and show you error codes if they fail.
- Avoid writing down your passwords. Cybercriminals can intercept your written passwords when logging onto your computer remotely.
- Change your passwords regularly and don’t reuse old ones. Use upper and lower-case characters for better memorization.
- Don’t save your passwords on unencrypted websites. Never forget to delete saved passwords.
- Never tell your password to anybody except trusted friends. Don’t give away your Twitter password to anyone else.
- Make sure you enable Two-Step Verification (2SV) on your Twitter account because it will add an extra layer of security to your account.
Third-party apps are handy tools specifically designed to enhance your experience on Twitter. Most of them work seamlessly alongside Twitter since they integrate smoothly with its official interface, allowing you to perform actions faster than ever before.
For instance, Twitterrific integrates neatly with Twitter and lets users browse content conveniently organized according to categories, locations, topics, timeline order and more. Meanwhile, Twitterfeed is a feed reader which allows users to sort their feeds based on individual criteria such as followers, recent activity, trending topics and more.
However, despite the convenience offered by third-party apps, they pose a threat to your online security if misused. Many of them collect user data and sometimes sell it to advertisers. Therefore, it’s crucial that you carefully review the permissions granted to every third-party app before giving consent to anything.
Also, consider enabling automatic downloads for them, which ensures an immediate checking with the developer for updates whenever you launch the app. Whenever a new version becomes available, your installed app will download and install it on your phone right away.
And there you have it: all the amazing tips for you to start using Twitter in the most secure way. Go ahead and sign up now!
Avid music fanatic. Communicator. Social media expert. Award-winning bacon scholar. Alcohol fan.