What To Do When There is Phishing on Twitter!

When the first phishing attacks happened on Twitter, people who use the social media platform did not know what hit them.  As we know there are pretty much new people joining Twitter daily, so I decided to share what one can do just in case you have experienced Phishing on Twitter.

In the field of computer security, phishing is the criminally fraudulent process of attempting to acquire sensitive information such as usernames, passwords and credit card details by masquerading as a trustworthy entity in an electronic communication.

Communications pretending to be from popular social web sites, auction sites, online payment processors or IT administrators are commonly used to lure the unsuspecting public. Phishing is typically carried out by e-mail or instant messaging, and it often directs users to enter details at a fake website whose look and feel are almost identical to the legitimate one. Even when using server authentication, it may require tremendous skill to detect that the website is fake.

Phishing is an example of social engineering techniques used to fool users, and exploits the poor usability of current web security technologies.  If you want to read more about what it is, Richard wrote an article here Phishing Scams in Plain English,

The majority of the time, people are fooled into thinking that the links sent to their DMs are legitimate, most specially if they come from tweets that are from people they trust.  So what should one do?

1.  Always be alert, check your stream for any phishing warnings.  I am glad I have @Mashable always giving alerts when they get news of any phishing attacks.

2.  Most of the time when you get DMs you will see a trend on how your friends or followers have messaged you.  Most of the time a link (url shortened once) with “Is this You?” or “You look so funny in this video!” are sent successively by different people.  DO NOT CLICK ON THEM! The only way your account gets compromised is when you open the link.

3.  When you see that there is a phishing attack and if you want to feel secure, change your PASSWORD right away.

Here are other links that I hope can help you protect yourself during phishing attacks:

How Phishing Works

Anti-Phishing Working Groups

Twitter Phishing Attack Spreading via Direct Message [WARNING]