When you are managing 40+ twitter accounts, you have the opportunity to notice trends in “attacks” and there seems to be another “red tide bloom” hitting the twitter-sphere. Just recently I have been getting tons of DM’s (Direct Messages) on a bunch of accounts. These are relatively easy to spot, but even last year I clicked a link that I knew I shouldn’t have, it was like closing your car door while looking at the keys in the ignition. Here are just a few of the scams, they all come with a link.
did you see your pics with her?
hey, You’ve been scammed…
heh u didnt see them tapping u
hey, someone is spreading horrible rumors about you
hey, someone is spreading nasty rumors about you
(I’ve even seen a really good one that sends a follow up dm claiming, I sent you the wrong link, this is the one for the pict.)
So How can you avoid these “social diseases?”
First, Practice safe tweets. If someone you don’t know sends you a dm with a link, that is bad form on their part, I don’t open any link anyone sends me without some kind of confirmation that I know them and that they really ment to send it. Sometimes this is as easy as peaking at their profile. However, if you have a friend that does not question who they DM with, they might be a carrier, still look for confirmation. Even being vigilant, there is always a chance that you might make a mistake and click a link. Typically these sites have a pop up that will ask you to validate your twitter sign in or to approve an app (BIG RED FLAG) don’t approve it, or your account will start sending DM’s to all your friends from you, claiming one of the above, or even worse spamming them with who knows what.
What if you catch something?
First go to your twitter account and go to edit your profile, then look at the tab Apps (this link should take you direct to the page). This will show you all the applications you have given permission to access your twitter account. I recommend you print this list out once a month, just to see if there is anything new that you have not approved. Remove permission for any app that you no longer use. Having this printout will make it easier to spot and remove the culprit.
Now change your password, I recommend at least 3 lowercase, 3 uppercase and 3 numbers to give you a good strong password.
Lastly help others, tweet an apology/warning to your followers, and do your part to let others know if they are dm’ing you these messages. Typically the person affected has no idea they are.
Facebook has simular issues on occasion, but these same keys will work there. Think before you give permission to an app. Goto your privacy settings where you can check the apps you approved. Send this article to people who get hit. Feel free to reach out if you have any questions, or think you have a bug, we’ll help where we can.