Lessons Learned From Being Hacked on Twitter

Connie McKinney By Connie McKinney, 14th Feb 2014 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL http://nut.bz/gbele617/
Posted in Wikinut>News>Technology

My Twitter account was recently hacked by some unknown online predator. Don't let this happen to you. Learn from my mistakes and find out how to protect yourself on Twitter and other online sites.

An Embarrassing Facebook Message


Before going to bed one night earlier this week, I decided to check my Facebook page. I'm glad I did. I found an odd message from one of my friends.
"Connie, I think your Twitter account was hacked," the message read. "You just sent me an X-rated message."
I nearly fell off my chair from shock. For the record, I have never looked at porn in my life. As Eliza Doolittle famously said in the movie "My Fair Lady," "I'm a good girl, I am."
I quickly messaged her back. "Help! What do I do!" I wrote.
"It's OK," my friend wrote back. "Go to your Twitter account, reset your password and you should be OK."
I followed her instructions and reset my password. The problem was fixed. However, the experience taught me how easy it is for some stranger to hack your account.
I don't want to see this happen to anybody else. So I'm sharing my experience in the hopes that others will learn from it and avoid my mistakes.

Avoid Easy Passwords

My mistake was one that lots of other people probably do every day online. I chose a password which was easy for a hacker to figure out. I used one of my pet's names. I unwittingly made it easier for my hacker by posting pictures of my pets on Twitter a couple of months ago.
Avoid using your pet's names, your children's names, or your spouse's names as passwords. Chances are, you have posted pictures of your spouse, children and/or pets on Twitter, Facebook or any other social media site you use. The first thing any hacker will do is plug in these names.
Don't use your birthday, either. Again, you probably have your birthday listed on a social media site somewhere. It's easy for a hacker to find out your birthday and then to try hacking into your account using your birthday numbers as a password.
Avoid other major dates in your life such as your wedding anniversary. Somewhere online, there's probably a picture of you and your spouse celebrating your anniversary.
Here are some more tips for avoiding easy passwords and choosing stronger ones:

Choose the Right Passwords


A good way to choose the right password is to take some tips from security questions we are asked on some Web sites. Few people know your mother's maiden name, where you were born or what elementary school you attended. Any of these would be difficult, if not impossible, for a hacker to guess.
Also, be careful of the information you put online. Never put your street address or home telephone number in a Facebook or Twitter profile. Don't make it easy for somebody to track you down.
Be careful of the pictures you post online, especially those of your children. Some people don't put any pictures of children online because they are fearful of online predators. If you do post pictures of your children, make sure you don't have any street addresses or any other identifying information on line. Do NOT post the name of your child's school.
Make sure your computer has a proper security system. Scan your computer often.
Stay safe and exercise caution whenever you turn on your home computer or flip open your Smart phone. That could save your face from turning red when you find out you've been inadvertently sending out porn on Twitter.

[Here's a story I did about writing online
Here's one I did about another social media site, Facebook

Attribution


The video came from YouTube.
Both photos came from Morguefile.com
The information came from my own experiences and mistakes I've made online.

Tags

Online, Password, Password Hack, Passwords, Twitter, Twitter Followers

Meet the author

author avatar Connie McKinney
I enjoy exercising, pets, and volunteering as well as writing about these topics and others.

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Comments

author avatar Jerry Walch
14th Feb 2014 (#)

I think that we have all been there at one time or another, Connie. Some of us who spend sixteen hours a day on the computer and have dozens of accounts protected by dozens of different passwords have been there more times then we care to remember.

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author avatar MarilynDavisatTIERS
14th Feb 2014 (#)

Good evening, Connie, I also got something from you via a notice from twitter, however, the person just did not appear right - glad I didn't go further. I cannot imagine having that much time to hack, do not see the purpose on a twitter account, nor the fun...oh, well. Glad you got yours fixed. I've had email hacked and generated a whole list of links to porn to clients. Was not a fun day, so I know how you feel. :( ~Marilyn

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author avatar Jerry Walch
14th Feb 2014 (#)

Hi Marilyn,
It really doesn't take much time to hack somebody's account. When most people think of someone hacking someone's account they picture someone sitting at the keyboard typing in alphanumeric combinations until they hit the right combination...that method is passé. Today there computer programs that you can get and run that will generate hundreds of different alphanumeric combinations randomly every second and hit the log on with them. Because of this new high tech approach to hacking most sites will lock the account after being hit with the wrong user name and/or password--the account is usually locked after three to five attempts. Unfortunately social media sites don't lock people out that way so hackers hack into those accounts with the hopes of garnering information that will help them hack more lucrative accounts.

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author avatar MarilynDavisatTIERS
15th Feb 2014 (#)

Hi Connie, I know about programs, I was talking more about the amount of time, energy and effort that people put into stealing, seems like a waste of a talented mind. Like artist in jail - we got a lot of art work on envelopes coming to the women at the house - here were examples of artistic talent from the shop lifter doing 3 years. 2 Cents. ~Marilyn

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author avatar Mariah
15th Feb 2014 (#)

Horrible thing to happen Connie, what kind of people do that, password strength is important as you say,keeping passwords totally impersonal is much safer.
The web is unfortunately a playground for sick predators

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author avatar Connie McKinney
15th Feb 2014 (#)

Thanks for your support, Jerry, Marilyn and Mariah. Stay safe online, everybody.

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author avatar Fern Mc Costigan
15th Feb 2014 (#)

Sorry Connie you wnet to this horrible nightmare, I once experienced it on an old email account and they were sending nasty emails and malware to people in myson school and people I knew Embarrasing, I understand your annoynace, some people dont have naything better to do with tehir lives but trying to destroy others!

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author avatar Delicia Powers
15th Feb 2014 (#)

Connie thank you for this very important warning...!...this is very scary... and your advice very helpful...many thanks...

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author avatar Connie McKinney
15th Feb 2014 (#)

Thanks for your support, Fern and Delicia. I don't know why people do this but they do. Be careful and stay safe online.

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author avatar Randhir Bechoo
15th Feb 2014 (#)

Interesting article.Thanks for the share.

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author avatar Connie McKinney
15th Feb 2014 (#)

Thanks so much, Randhir. Stay safe on the Internet.

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author avatar Kingwell
16th Feb 2014 (#)

Good advice. So sorry this happened to you.

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author avatar Phyl Campbell
16th Feb 2014 (#)

I shared this, and now I'm getting around to commenting... Seems like I can remember one or the other, but not both these days!

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author avatar Sivaramakrishnan A
16th Feb 2014 (#)

Hacking of our accounts leave a bitter taste in our mouth. We keep learning all the time and, sadly, the crooks do catch up on us! Thanks Connie for the share and tips - siva

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author avatar Stella Mitchell
16th Feb 2014 (#)

Some people obviously get perverted pleasure from upsetting others Fern , I am sorry this happened in your name .
Thank you for sharing this with us .
God bless you
Stella

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author avatar Stella Mitchell
16th Feb 2014 (#)

Sorry I meant to write ...Connie ... Please forgive me ..
More blessings to you ..Connie.
Stella :-) ><

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author avatar Connie McKinney
19th Feb 2014 (#)

Thanks, Phyl, Siva, Stella and Kingwell for the support. Here is the postscript to this story. I haven't had a computer for a few days. It was in the shop being cleaned of 72 viruses. So much for Norton Antivirus. I have a different antivirus program now, Sophus. I hope I'm spelling that right. So some of the antivirus programs don't work too well. Hope it doesn't happen to any of you. Not fun. It's great to be back!

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