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HMV, Burger King, who next? Five ways to stop your Twitter feed going toxic

19 Feb 2013
By atom42

With the HMV and Burger King Twitter feeds hitting the headlines after being very publicly turned against them, many brands are now looking for ways to prevent their own Twitter accounts becoming toxic. Here are five simple ways to prevent your brand’s Twitter feed being misused.

1. Create & maintain a secure password

Don’t use a term directly related to your brand, products or other traceable information, as hackers are very good at cracking passwords such as these. Instead, choose a strong password containing letters numbers and symbols. Keep your password completely private and don’t share it by email or record it in any public or semi-public places. If you do choose to change your password, remember to change it within third party apps you are using, as well.

2. Revoke untrusted apps

Some hackers gain access to Twitter accounts via untrustworthy apps. This doesn’t include well-known and trusted apps like TweetDeck and Facebook. You can revoke access to any apps you’re unsure about by clicking on the ‘settings’ button and going to ‘apps’.

3. Be wary of links in messages

Avoid clicking on links within messages from people you don’t know. Hackers may use harmful links embedded into messages which could compromise the security of your account.

4. Scan your computer regularly

Make sure your computer is regularly scanned for viruses and malware. These can collect passwords, enabling hackers to gain access to your feed.

5. Keep your social media department onside

Despite reports to the contrary, HMV’s Twitter feed was not in fact hacked or ‘hijacked’, instead, the firm’s furious social media manager turned against the brand when she thought staff were being treated unfairly. Make sure your social media department stays firmly on the side of the company, or things could turn nasty pretty quickly!

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