Twitter Phishing attacks

Is this you?? this is the Direct Message that has been tearing around the Twitterverse this week.  From what I hear (since I would never ever click the link) is that it will take you to a login page where you end up putting in your Twitter username and pass and then now they have it, and they use it to send DM’s to all of YOUR followers. 

So there it is… someone telling you that you are in a video or picture or something in your Direct Messages… you are tempted.  Really?  Who could have a video of me out there on the web?  Did they get it from my facebook page? YouTube?  So you click.  Rule of thumb #1 – Never click any link that you aren’t sure what it is.  This works for Twitter as well as Facebook, MySpace, Email, Instant Messenger… etc etc etc.  I’ve even been known to confirm with my own sister that sent me a link having to do with our current conversation if she really sent me a link.  You can’t be too paranoid about this kind of thing.  Even if it isn’t a phishing attack that is only trying to get information, it could be something much much worse.  Like a link to an actual virus.  Best advice is to just confirm with the person who sent you the link if it’s legit or not.

So now that you’ve clicked it is asking you for your username and password.  You think in your head… Hmmm that’s weird.  (FIRST STOP RIGHT THERE!  If you think it’s odd, then don’t continue!).  The brief fleeting odd feeling goes away as you think, “oh I must have gotten logged out somehow”.  So you enter you username and password.  Rule of Thumb #2 – NEVER EVER enter your information from ANYTHNG from a link that you have clicked on.  Open a new browser and go to the main website yourself.  ie if the link send you to a Twitter login screen, open a NEW browser and navigate to yourself.  Then you know it’s safe to enter your username and password.

So now that you’ve given the phishers the information they wanted to gather from you and your account is compromised… it’s time for you to fix it.  Rule of Thumb #3 – Change your info ASAP.  If you gave them your password change it!  And change it quick, because they will use it!  If you gave them information that is far more damaging like your Social Security number or your bank account, notify the appropriate people BEFORE anything happens.  Then monitor your credit score like a hawk. 

So be smart and safe out there… and stop sending me phising DM’s please… Thank you!

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About the author

Sarah Werle Kimmel

Sarah Werle Kimmel is a digital parenting coach and family tech expert. She has spent the last 20 years of her career working as a Microsoft Certified IT Manager supporting over 100 small businesses. During that time she started Family Tech LLC to help families understand and manage the technology in their home. She has regularly appeared as a family tech expert on local NBC, CBS, ABC and FOX news affiliates, BYUtv and Studio 5, and has been invited all over the world from tech companies like Lenovo, Verizon, Microsoft, Dell, and Samsung. Find out more on her website


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