Twitter expects attacks on accounts to continue, suggests bizarre ways to avoid them

Following a spate of hacks on high-profile Twitter accounts, the micro-blogging site has sent a warning to its users stating that it expects the attacks to continue.

Please help us keep your accounts secure. There have been several recent incidents of high-profile news and media Twitter handles being compromised. We believe that these attacks will continue, and that news and media organizations will continue to be high value targets to hackers,” Twitter’s memo reads.

Among the laundry list of items which Twitter says can help users protect their accounts are common-sense tips like changing passwords regularly and keeping the associated email account secure. The company also said that attackers are using advanced "spear phishing" tactics, so users should be wary of suspicious DMs and emails.

Wish these guys switch on two-step verification soon (Image credit: Getty Images)

Wish these guys switch on two-step verification soon (Image credit: Getty Images)


One useful tip was to check the apps authorised to use your Twitter data. “Review your authorised applications. If you don't recognize any of the applications, contact us immediately.

However, in addition to these helpful but obvious tips, Twitter has added some rather bizarre and probably unworkable recommendations to keep your account safe. "Designate one computer to use for Twitter," the company says. "Don't use this computer to read email or surf the web, to reduce the chances of malware infection." That essentially means Twitter wants us to ban email and other parts of the Internet from the system we use to Tweet so that the Twitter experience is not hampered. That sounds like a solid idea, guys! </sarcasm>

Perhaps out of concern for accounts that are managed by a group of people rather than just one person, Twitter says organisations have to minimise the number of people managing the account. “Minimize the number of people that have access. Even if you use a third-party platform to avoid sharing the actual Twitter account password, each of these people is a possible avenue for phishing or other compromise.


While the social network is working on a two-step authentication system to prevent future hacks, one wonders why it hasn’t been released to the public yet. Google, Microsoft, Facebook and even Dropbox have had two-factor authentication systems in place for quite some time now. Two-factor authentication adds a great layer of security, one that can only be unlocked by the phone in your hands, and it's high time Twitter hasn't released the system yet.

Published Date: Apr 30, 2013 07:11 pm | Updated Date: Apr 30, 2013 07:11 pm