Secure Your Twitter Account Better Than Trump in Less Than 5 Minutes

Secure Your Twitter Account Better Than Trump in Less Than 5 Minutes

There’s a report going around that U.S. President Trump’s Twitter account was hacked — again — by a Dutch security researcher who just happened to guess the correct password: “maga2020!” I think the story is absolutely bogus, but it’s still a great reminder that you shouldn’t be lazy with your social media security. Locking down your Twitter account is easy, and it takes less than five minutes to do.

Change your password

Screenshot: David Murphy Screenshot: David Murphy

There’s no reason you should be using a simple password that anyone could easily guess. Go here. Change your password to something more complex. If you have no idea what that means, get some help. Save this password in your browser — or, better yet, a great password manager. Don’t use this password anywhere else.

Block someone else from resetting your password

Screenshot: David Murphy Screenshot: David Murphy

If someone happens to get into your account and attempts to reset your password — to then lock you out — you can require Twitter to verify the request via your phone number or email address. Set that up here.

Set up two-factor authentication

Screenshot: David Murphy Screenshot: David Murphy

At minimum, you should have Twitter send you a code in a text message whenever you (or anyone else) tries to log into your account for the first time. You’ll then type that code in to verify that the request was legitimate. In a perfect world though, you would link Twitter to an authentication app that would provide this code, because even text messages aren’t the safest way to verify a login attempt is actually you.

(Make sure you write down your backup code and store that somewhere safe.)

Check which apps have accessed your account

Screenshot: David Murphy Screenshot: David Murphy

Did some app access your Twitter account without your permission? Check that here. And if you don’t recall granting a certain app access to your account, go here to disconnect the offending apps from your account.

Check where else you’re logged into Twitter

Screenshot: David Murphy Screenshot: David Murphy

It’s easy to see what other devices are currently logged into your Twitter account. Go here to check, and if you don’t recognise a smartphone, tablet, or PC on that list, click “Log out all other sessions,” and then change your password (and set up two-factor authentication!)

Screenshot: David Murphy Screenshot: David Murphy

Delete your account

Screenshot: David Murphy Screenshot: David Murphy

If you need to nuke your Twitter account, do so here. You’ll have 30 days to change your mind until your account is gone for good, unless you have a verified account. Then, you can select a window of either 30 days or one year.

Log in to comment on this story!