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The Definitive Guide to keep your Data Safe on Twitter

As the world is increasingly getting interconnected, everyone shares the responsibility of a secure Cyberspace”. -Newton Lee

Twitter is a virtual place to get connected with the world.
Talking about as a social networking site it’s even open than G+ or Facebook, as people can easily share & put up their takes about different events; any without barricades.
Anyone can follow you and you can follow anyone, it’s that easy! However, few restrictions must be there to ensure data security, isn’t it?

Matching up with other social networking sites, Twitter is quite different than the rest. In recent times, it came up with ways to protect its users.

1

Strip Geotag Info from your Photos.

When you tweet a photo, many times the location information that many camera phones add to the metadata of the photo file, can be used by anyone who views the photo. Someone who is well aware of an EXIF viewer application, which simply reads the location information embedded in a photo; can figure out the location where the picture was taken. Geotagging is an elective Twitter feature that turns your location visible to everyone. You can easily change it through Twitter settings, if you do not wish to reveal your geographical presence to the world out there!

Some celebrities have faced trouble by unintentionally giving away their home location, by not removing the geotags from their photos in advance of tweeting them!
Never share your email, personal or business address, telephone numbers, etc. on Twitter; until and unless you are totally aware of the consequences.

2

Use Login Verification.

Login verification is a form of two-factor authentication. It’s like a second layer of protection, moreover passwords. Whenever you wish to login from a new (computer, mobile); to verify your identity, you will have to enter the password with Twitter. This code will be rare, limited to a period of time and sent as a text message on your mobile phone (OTP). Also make sure you change your password periodically and you keep it really strong.

3

Don’t Share your Account with Anyone.

Sharing your account with others is very exciting and even amusing, if that’s the intact purpose of the account.
However, if the account information is sensitive for you – avoid sharing your password with somebody you don’t fully trust. The more people are aware of your password, the more it will be prone to become a victim of cybercrime.

4

Enable Twitter’s Privacy and Security Options.

Select the Tweet Privacy option to check, who gets access to your tweets instead of making them all-public.
Deselect the Photo tagging option, to accept anyone to tag you in photos. After all, keeping yourself safe from cyber-crime is in your hands.

5

Beware of Phishing.

Attackers will try to get hold of your personal information through your tweets, emails & direct messages on Twitter – what is called as “phishing”.
They might direct you to believe that your Twitter account has been hacked & compel you to change your password immediately.
They can also excite you by telling that you have won a contest & you can get all the details by just logging in your Twitter account!
Don’t get trapped in these deceptions! You don’t have to reveal your password ever.
These signs are nothing but an indication that the cyber criminals are keeping an eye on you. For example: you can even receive an email from someone justifying that he/she works for Twitter & need to verify your account. Topping it up they end up acquiring your password from you, beware of such pitfalls!
Phishing attacks can also be transferred by private messages or replies, from people who have your Twitter credentials or any other personal data.
There are often situations when, your friend’s Twitter account is targeted by an attacker and you receive infected links & messages from that account; in such a case do not open the link before cross-checking it with your friend.

6

Direct Message for Personal Information – At The Rescue.

In case of a situation, which demands you to share your personal information like your address, phone number, birthday etc.; with somebody over Twitter, use direct messages to share such details and not tweets. Tweets are visible to all, whereas direct messages will not be. But then again, you need to be cautious here as well.
It’s very exigent, as online trolls often use this to trouble and annoy people. All you need to do is, turn off the “Receive Direct Messages from Anyone” setting. Twitter is a wonderful tool for instant messaging, but only until your known people are messaging you. And, if you use Twitter professionally, you may invite spontaneous contacts like this, however most Twitter users don’t go with an option.

7

Discoverability.

Deselect “let others find me by my email address and phone number.”
Although your email address and phone number are not visible to anyone, however as Twitter puts it: “The setting let people that already have your email address or phone number, locate you on Twitter or on third-party services that have associated with Twitter.”
Turning it off means third parties, spammers and marketers, won’t be have the access to your private information; which is meant to be protected. Sometimes, you may wish to upload your Address Book on Twitter, to find friends or colleagues; because it will expedite your process of locating them. However, you will then give Twitter access to all those email addresses, without knowing the adverse consequences of this activity!

8

Manage App Permits.

Once in a while, go through your Twitter app settings and disable access for any apps that are not no longer used by. Apps are a very important, of utmost value and essential to the social media space.
Some apps undoubtedly help you to improve the security, however unused apps are obsolete. Vandalizing this access lowers the attack surface.
Avoiding it will cause your data safety, as they can look like security holes for you! You may not even know, how many apps are tweeting absurd details about your activity. Thus, manage your privacy and security.

9

Secure Your Account.

A very common way to attack Twitter users are the links in spams. Some messages, which generally pops up with a teaser to make you click a link with something like “Did you hear what she’s saying about you?” or “LOL This picture of you is crazy!”
The temptation for you was to; make you click on the link! As a result if you are trapped, you’ll by & large land up at a fake Twitter login page. Even worse if you fall for it and enter your login information – that means you’ve given a scammer access to your Twitter account!

10

Tweet Sagely.

A tweet, sometimes which looks guiltless can cause a lot of issues, if it is unpleasant to someone or puts someone at risk! This can happen even after the message is later removed. You should realize the power of these messages and the importance of thinking before tapping the “Tweet” button.

11

Block Unwanted Contacts.

You are free to block suspicious people in you contact on Twitter easily. Your account will be hidden for them; they won’t be able to see anything you post and won’t be allowed to send you direct messages as well. All you need to do is, visit their profile and look for “Block or Report” option.

12

Turn Away from Unprotected Wi-Fi.

When you use public Wi-Fi for tweeting, be 100% sure that you are shielded from hackers attacking your data. In this case a Hotspot Shield can help you with the needed protection, to keep your data safe.
It’s safer any day, to tweet from behind a firewall at home, but this it is not a reasonable prospect for most social media users.
For example: when you just want to tweet a picture of a celebrity or information about the event, it is better to feel secure about your Wi-Fi connection and protect your data with Hot Spot Shield.

13

Restrain from Account Suspensions, By Regarding Twitter Limits.

Our suggestion is, you should follow the limits set by Twitter. They are especially critical, if you use automated tools to tweet or follow/un-follow users. Violating the limits may result in suspension of your Twitter account.
The major limits to be taken care of are:

  • Limit of utmost 1000 tweets and 250 direct messages per day
  • Aggressively following or un-following thousands of users, in a day can result in account discontinuation
  • You should have enough followers, before you can follow more than 2000 users

You can be trapped by temptations like “get hundreds of followers in 1 hour”; don’t be get bent on!

Summing up.

When a network becomes very praised, you can be sure of the scammers out there, all set to take advantage of any exposure. They are ready with their set of would-be new victims and missing an opportunity isn’t on their list!
However, if your security coats are in place, it will reduce your risks of being vulnerable to data breaches! If they’re not, you can read our article on “How you can keep your data from getting stolen“.

Aditi Srivastava
aditi@mon-k.com
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