Twitter is becoming a popular social & viral marketing tool because of its ability to send short but effective messages to thousands of readers. Having your ‘tweet’ re-tweeted is even more important. Some of the most popular people in the world ‘tweet’ and have not thousands, but millions of followers. However, with fame comes misfortune. Twitter accounts have been, and will continue to be, hacked.
Barack Obama with over 1.6 million followers and Britney Spears with over 2.1 million followers have both been hacked along with another 30 famous names. The purpose of the hack is to send a link to a malware site. You don’t need to be super famous either. Popular blogger Guy Kawasaki is another whose account was hacked with undesirable results.
If hackers find that gaining control of Twitter accounts is easy, then it wont be long before they start to attack those that are influential in other areas. Just being popular with a couple of thousand followers may be enough to become a victim. Image what damage a hacker could do to your business if they use your account to send out false rumors, or to announce a huge price cut.
You can take precautions of course. Closely guarding your Twitter account details and being vigilint for Twitter phishing activities are just two. The real problem for business, particularly businesses, is keeping control on who can access your Twitter account. The fewer people with the details, the less chance their is of a problem developing.
The one area where I do see a problem in the future is where management undervalue their Twitter accounts and leave them in the hands of junior staff members. If they are not trained to be vigilant they may unwittingly pass along account details. It’s a catch 22 for these managers. Twitter is not important enough to warrant security training. If you want to take advantage of the social & viral marketing power of Twitter then take it seriously – or suffer the consequences.