Twitter is the world’s number one microblogging site and is integral to the lives of millions around the world.
With Twitter accounts being so important in our daily lives, what would you do if your account was hacked or compromised? How can you be sure to keep your account safe? Use the following guidelines to help secure your account.
Turn on Twitter 2FA
Two-factor authentication is the most basic added security layer, after your password, to safeguard your Twitter account. It requires you have access to an app or phone number to log into your account. While 2FA can make logging in less convenient, it also makes your account a lot more secure.
To activate 2FA, log in to Twitter, and select ‘More’ on the screen’s left side.
Select ‘Security and account access.’
Click ‘Two-factor authentication.’
Select your authentication method from ‘text message,’ ‘Authentication App,’ or ‘Security Key,’ and follow the simple instructions to activate 2FA.
Be advised: If you are going to use an app instead of your phone number as the 2FA option, then you must ensure you keep backup codes or that you use Authy, the authenticator app, with a cloud backup. If you lose your phone without a backup of your 2FA-codes to log in, you’ll lose access to your account.
Don’t Connect Apps to Twitter
Many apps and games offer the ability to connect directly to your Twitter account. These services allow you to tweet directly from apps or games without leaving the app or game you’re using. While these connections are convenient, they can also be unsafe. If one of the apps you have connected to your account becomes compromised, your account can be hacked as well. The safest option is to limit which apps and games you connect to your account.
Don’t Reuse an Old Password
If you’re using a password for Twitter you’ve used before or are still using elsewhere, you should change it immediately. Reusing old passwords is incredibly dangerous, as any account using the same password could become compromised. This is especially true if you’ve been using the same password for years. Accounts you’ve forgotten about may have out-dated security and are at even more risk.
Use a strong password generator to create a new and unique password. If you’re worried about remembering your new passwords, you can use a browser like Chrome or Firefox with built-in password managers. You can also use paid-for services like DashLane and LastPass, or even use an encrypted excel sheet you store yourself.
For more advice when creating your password, check our guide to common password mistakes.
Don’t Share Your Account Info
It might seem obvious, but under no circumstances should you give your account information to anyone. If you receive an email supposedly from Twitter asking for account information, you should check thoroughly that the message is legitimate. Most of the time, social media sites and services won’t ask you for personal information unless they have to.
Manage Your Twitter Privacy Settings
An important part of account security is to manage your privacy settings. On Twitter, if you go back to your settings menu, you can click on the option for ‘Privacy and Safety’ to manage your privacy options.
The safest option is to protect your tweets, meaning only people who follow you can see your tweets. This option also means you have to approve any new followers you get. While this option is the safest, it can be restricting. You should at least make sure only your followers can message you. This will help avoid scammers and hackers, sending you fraudulent links that may compromise your account.
If you can’t get into your account, visit our guide on recovering a hacked Twitter account here.
If you’re worried about your Twitter account’s security, you can order a security audit here. If you need help to recover your Twitter account, read our tutorial here.
Featured image from Olivier DOULIERY/AFP.