Twitter is a popular online communications platform that is used by people all around the world. This also makes Twitter a target for nefarious individuals and groups, which can put a user’s data at risk. So how secure is Twitter? Read more to find out.

Twitter Security Risks

Believe it or not, Twitter users are susceptible to security risks.
These include:

  • Direct message hacking.
  • Phone number hacking.
  • Password storage/logging with plain text.
  • Support forms security flaws.
  • Flaws in software legacy code causing data leaks.
  • DM (direct message) permission flaws.
  • Two-factor authentication flaws.
  • Predicting your behaviors using your friend’s data (with or without your own account).

Twitter Recommended Privacy Settings

Twitter has security settings available for users to select that will help protect their privacy. Here are some recommendations to enhance your Twitter privacy settings:

  • Disable the “Personalization and data” settings on the web and the device app.
  • Allow only those who you follow to tag you in photos.
  • Click “Protect My Tweets”.
  • Flip off the option called “Add a location to my Tweets”.
  • Uncheck the options that allow others to find you by email address or phone number.
  • Decide which third-party apps you want to allow access to your Twitter account.
  • Check the “Require personal information to reset my password”. This requires two factors and you can get a code sent to your phone by SMS.
  • Choose to receive login verification requests via the Twitter mobile app or text message on your phone.

Biggest Twitter Breaches

Twitter has become a platform not just for normal users, but famous and other high-profile users as well. Even presidents of countries use Twitter to communicate with their constituents and the rest of the world.

Just like other social media sites, Twitter has had major security issues, including:

July 2020 – Hacks of high-profile US citizens

Former US President Barack Obama, Bill Gates, Elon Musk, and Jeff Bezos, among others, were hacked via tweeted messages. The messages requested that bitcoins be sent to a link and these would be doubled in value and returned to the sender. The total amount was $2000 offered in return for each $1000 sent to the linked bitcoin address. This was the largest privacy breach in Twitter’s history and the culprits were eventually found and arrested by US authorities. The method used by these hackers was a form of social engineering called a “phone spear-phishing” attack. They targeted a group of Twitter employees and obtained their credentials to gain access to the company’s internal network and support functions.

September 2020 – Hack of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi

Again, this was another hack with the purpose of scamming bitcoins from Twitter users. The account “@narendramodi_in” was used to send tweets requesting bitcoin donations to another linked account for the time period of almost one hour.

Fortunately, Twitter reacts quickly to investigate any threats to its website or user base.

To Recap…

Twitter is a great way to communicate and keep up to date with others online in a fun and convenient way. However, since there are security risks involved with Twitter, users need to keep themselves protected by following certain privacy recommendations.

If you do online payments, consider our post How Secure Is Paypal?

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