Hot on the heels of Burger King’s Twitter account getting hacked Monday, Jeep’s account was also hacked yesterday. While these big businesses have the resources to rebound from such attacks, it's a good time to ask yourself: How safe is my company's Twitter account?
“Small businesses depend on their consumer base,” said Alexandra Ostrow, director of strategy at Likeable Media. “[A hack] can shatter the close link that they have with their customers.”
Nervous about your account’s security? Here are the five incredibly simple tips to protect your company’s Twitter password:
1. Mums the word. “Treat your Twitter account like your ATM cards,” said Peter Shankman, an entrepreneur and social media specialist. He said you shouldn't assume that just because it is a Twitter account, you can give the password to many employees.
2. Change it up. Since small businesses often log in their Twitter accounts from different devices, the chances of being hacked is actually quite high. Ostrow suggested companies change their account passwords every one to two months. “And never include any personal information--that is Password 101,” Ostrow said. Companies can integrate a diverse mix of numbers and letters to make the passwords easier to remember and more difficult to crack.
3. Use a "passphrase," not just a password. The form of your password matters, and phrases work better than words. An ideal “passphrase” should have a length between 10 and 15 characters, according to Shankman. Be creative when you design your “passphrase.” For example, choose a line from your favorite songs, change one letter, and then include spaces in between.
4. Intentional misspellings help. The intentional misspelling of a word makes password harder to guess, Shankman said.
5. Link the password retrieve to alternative emails. Sometimes hackers use Twitter’s password reset function to steal your main email account’s password. Shankman suggested users link their Twitter account to back-up emails that few people know of.