Shocked manWe’ve seen another outbreak of spam messages from accounts we follow on Twitter this morning – this time, it’s the usual “make millions of pounds working from home” type tweet, plus the more ingenious “Is this you in this picture? <link>”.
All have come through as Direct Messages from accounts we know fairly well, so we immediately recognised that the tone and content was unusual for them.

Don’t click!

I’m sure we don’t need to mention that clicking on links in this kind of message (anything which seems “a bit odd” for that user) is a bad idea. Reporting the user for spam is also counterproductive since they almost certainly are unaware that the messages are going out from their account. DO, though, send them a message letting them know there’s something odd happening.

A contact told me my account is spamming, what do I do?

If you receive a notification from one of your followers that they’ve had a spammy message from your account, it’s likely that either your account has been hacked, OR an application that you’ve previously authorised to have permissions on your account has been hacked or has turned rogue. In either case, here’s what you do:

1. Change your password. If you can stand the annoyance of remembering more passwords, it’s a good idea to do this regularly anyway!

2. Check your Authorised applications. To do this, log into Twitter.com and click on the far right item in the top menu – your username/ avatar with a little drop down triangle next to it. Choose “settings” from the menu that drops down.

Then, click the “applications” tab: Twitter applications tab

That will show you all the apps you’ve ever authorised to access your Twitter account. If your account is sending out spam, we’d advise you to delete all but the apps you can’t live without. If the spam continues, you may have to delete those one by one too, until you figure out which one’s causing the problem.

Make your Twitter account safer in future

To help avoid this happening again, try changing your Twitter password regularly and / or making it more complex (include numbers as well as letters, and avoid obvious word choices).  It’s a good idea to check the Applications tab regularly, and  revoke access to any apps you don’t remember authorising, or no longer use.

Have you had trouble with your Twitter account spamming? Please feel free to share any other tips for preventing or dealing with this!

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