INFOBITS: Tweeting Safely


by Jodi Ito, UH ITS Information Security Officer

Do You Tweet?  If you use Twitter, here are three things for you to consider:

TTMI:  Tweeting Too Much Information
Twitter is a social networking tool that’s easy to use to post information on “What are you doing?” (Twitter’s tag line). It’s easy to post: “at the coffee shop” or “heading to the library” so that your friends can meet up with you. BUT you are also telling everyone that you are not home and it’s a good time for someone to break in and rob you of your valuables. Be careful of what you tweet and do not disclose too much information about yourself or families and friends. You may compromise their identities and perhaps even their safety.

Tweets Live Forever
Twitter is a convenient, fast and easy way to post information about yourself and others around you. But like anything on the Internet, your Tweet may be around forever. You may have deleted your tweet with that link to the picture of you at a wild party, but some of your friends may have re-tweeted it and put it up on their blog and emailed it to all of their friends who have then posted it to their website. A prospective employer may find that less than attractive photo of you several years later and decide that you are not quite what they were looking for in an employee. In fact, some job placement services are now requiring registrants to provide any of their social networking site addresses before submitting them for job interviews. So think carefully before you tweet.  It may come back to haunt you later.

Twitter Phishes & Hacks
Scammers and Hackers are now moving to Twitter to perpetrate their fraudulent activities such as phishing and hacking. Be cautious if you receive a direct message in Twitter directing you to what looks like Inspect the URL closely because it could be a fake website waiting for you to give up your Twitter password. Phishers will then use your Twitter account to try to scam your followers into giving up their password and then the phishing scheme will go on and on.

And once they have your password, they can also tweet in your name about “interesting websites” that are actually infected with malicious software (malware) such as Trojans and keystroke loggers. If these websites are visited, the malware may then be downloaded on to the unsuspecting victim’s computer.

For more information about Twitter phishing, see: Gone Phishing

And for more information about Twitter hacks, see: High profile Twitter hack spreads porn Trojan

Related Articles
Avoid Twitter Disasters
Want a city job? Fork over your usernames, passwords
Warning: Social Networking Can Be Hazardous to Your Job Search

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Article ID: 1028
Created: Wed, 08 Jul 2009 12:55pm
Modified: Tue, 28 Jul 2009 9:44am