Twitter Password Security

Can you believe it, I’ve seen FOUR different Twitter accounts hacked in the past 3 weeks! All had “weak” passwords (short, all lowercase) and luckily the damage was only some bogus posts, nothing too terrible and the passwords weren’t changed thereby stealing the account from the owner. Still, a hijacking is pretty creepy.

Sepia-toned image of me standing over a virtual corpse as a metaphor for Twitter Password Security
Agent Xue examining a body at the Chaos City SIM in Second Life. It’s easy to look hot in Jackie Graves “Poison” paramilitary uniform, but as the poor corpse reminds us, it’s all fun and games till some creeper hacks your account and then Twitter Password Security isn’t so funny anymore! 🙁
When you’re logged in to your laptop at school and you walk away to get a creamy chai mate or to pee or whatever and your friends jump on your laptop and start sending bogus insult messages to all your Facebook friends, well, that might be funny, but when netbots with unknown intentions are compromising lots of Twitter accounts, it’s really time to step up your password.

I don’t believe any of these accounts were phished, I think it was just bots cracking simple passwords. Believe me I know complex passwords are a pain, and having a different password for every account is a nightmare, but none of those precautions seem like such a big deal when you wind up with “Internet STD’s.” A few years ago the net was a fun sandbox and the creepy guy in the trench coat didn’t really even come by that often… those days are gone. Face the facts: the sandbox is surrounded by creepy guys in trench coats now. We can still play, we can still build awesome sandcastles, but you’re going to have to finally break down and get a real password.

6 lowercase characters that were probably your former pets name just don’t seem to cut it anymore. Yes, you’re going to have to do the upper, lower, number, special character thing. Instead of the old reliable “fluffy” or “princess” or “psychogirlfriend” how about a phrase you know, that you can take a letter or two for each word from – that generates a string that’s actually easy for you to remember, but a lot less hackable than “fluffy”. But remember that even a “good” password can still be phished, and it’d be great if that didn’t compromise ALL your accounts. A unique password for each account is so much to remember, but what about splitting the difference? Take your acronymISH base and add a piece for the specific website, so if your phrase is:
remember, remember, the fifth of November

then your Twitter password might be:

A bot won’t crack that so fast, if it’s ever phished you might not lose all your other accounts, and yet it’s easy for you to remember.

Twitter: Keeping Your Account Secure
TechCrunch: Twitter Accounts Compromised


I’m way not any sort of security expert, nor a Twitter Security specialist, and since it’s pretty important stuff, as always, see a professional! This is just some info that might be useful as observed from my little mini-trench in the field.

Good Luck! Play Safe! But still Adventurous!

About Author

Student in the Culture, Media & Creative Industries programme at King's College, London. Gallerist at Gallery Xue. Webmaster for avatar bloggers. Host of Virtual Artists' Alliance' Haiku Speedbuild.

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