One of the dangers of Twitter, which I suppose is a danger of all technology, but is more public with Twitter, is that if your account is hacked, other people may think you are posting things that you aren’t. All of your followers will see the post, and if there’s a link, others may visit that site, not knowing that it’s not legitimate. Depending on the nature of the post, it could hurt your relationship with anyone who follows you – especially because they may not really know you.
Yesterday evening, I was looking at my Twitter feed, and I noticed a friend’s Twitter account had links to adult material. Since his website is a mainstream site, I knew it wasn’t legit, so I let my friend know about it. After looking into it a bit more, I found a second danger of Twitter – more like a danger of a Twitter set up.
My friend’s account hadn’t actually been hacked. What happened was that he set up a feed on his website’s forum that posted the title of topics and a link to the topic in his Twitter feed. Since this set-up automatically posts all topics from the forum to his Twitter account, it posted the spam from the forum. People need to be wary of this type of set up, as it can give the website a bad reputation.
Twitter allows people anf companies to have a “personal” relationship with other companies, celebrities, and people with whom they do not know. By opening a brand to Twitter, a company can put its reputation at risk if they do not closely monitor its Twitter account.
Couldn’t be a more true post. Thanks for the warning and heads up. 😛 I think Ping.FM is probably our next step. Had them running a while back but never got the chance to fully integrate.
Great post Elliot and very important for everyone to remember. Just like your own website or blog security is essential. It is also important that people remember to use good passwords that are not easily guessed.
If your password is your address, hobbies, etc. this is not secure. This is the most common mistake people make and in the case of Twitter or a blog this can be terrible for a business.
Also important to always keep all of your software up-to-date as security holes are found and exploited all the time.
Great post and good to see someone pointing-out security as many people are jumping-into these services for the first time.
That’s a classic play by spammers. If this kind of “set-up” has a signature others can find using Google, there are likely automated bots now doing this…
Excellent points. As a new account holder on Twitter I’m still riding my training wheels and trying to avoid security potholes like the ones you mention. So far the 12-day ride has been fun and I’ve made new friends I might otherwise have never known from among a few dozen followers around the world. What’s better than people? – especially if they’re domainers!
I’ve also been introduced to others on Twitter I hope never to know. They are a new breed of spammers: the twammers. Now when I receive notice of a new twitter follower I don’t automatically hit the follow-in-return button and am rather more cautious about who I follow in return. Readers of Elliot’s Blog, of course, all being the most intelligent ;), the most well-informed ;), and the most well-mannered 😉 people on the face of the planet, are all most welcome. Frank
I love twitter and have been with it for over a year, but don’t give it too much credit. Most people will know when an account might be hacked. And if the twitterer has gone temporarily insane, let him, everyone should once and awhile even if it’s to visit 2girls1cup.com.
Twitter announced in an interview today on The View that they are in the process of creating verified accounts where you would have a badge that identified the account as the official company or person account.