Published On: Sat, Feb 2nd, 2013

Twitter: has my account been hacked?

If you are one of the 250,000 to have had their accounts hacked, you will have been sent, or will shortly be sent, an email from Twitter asking you to create a new password.

Twitter: has my account been hacked?

Follow the instructions in the email to create a new password. Your old password will not work when you try to log in to the social networking site.

Twitter has advised all users to “ensure they are following good password hygiene” – not only on the social networking site but also elsewhere on the internet.

Their advice is as follows:

“Make sure you use a strong password – at least 10 (but more is better) characters and a mixture of upper- and lower case letters, numbers, and symbols – that you are not using for any other accounts or sites. Using the same password for multiple online accounts significantly increases your odds of being compromised.”

It goes on:

“If you are not using good password hygiene, take a moment now to change your Twitter passwords. For more information about making your Twitter and other internet accounts more secure, read our Help Center documentation or the FTC’s guide on passwords.

“We also echo the advisory from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and security experts to encourage users to disable Java on their computers in their browsers. For instructions on how to disable Java,read this recent Slate article.”

Be warned: the company has also said they do not believe the attack was an isolated incident. Twitter said the hackers were “extremely sophisticated” and it believes other websites will have been similarly attacked.

But some experts have warned that the hack could lead to new “phishing” scams.

As Twitter users now know to be on the lookout for emails asking them to change their passwords, criminals could send out similar messages.

If users click on the links in those they risk having their account hacked. Experts advise not to clink on links in emails asking you to change your password.

Instead, go directly to the website, log in normally, and change it using the instructions.

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