Twitter Hacked

Just as I was beginning to enjoy Twitter… Last week my account was hacked (as some of you on my friends list may have noticed) and as a result many people were sent odd messages by me asking about their IQs.This may seem harmless enough, though I can’t confirm that if you actually clicked on the links in my faked tweet, but it seems to me that it is representative of a wider issue, that of security.

With many people storing their lives online, you only have to look at the front page of almost any web application and you will see evidence of  just how terrible we are at managing our online lives with “forgot my password”, “forgot my username” and  “keep me logged in” buttons in abundance. These are features that were designed because we seem to be incapable of remembering one password or four-digit PIN number, let alone a unique password for every application we ever sign up for.

Each new service that we sign up for creates excuse for the unhealthy habit of using simple passwords, the same password, everywhere. So every time we go on line we run the risk of any one of our services being hacked, and the danger that that password will be known for all of our other accounts. All of a sudden that harmless Twitter hack becomes a much more dangerous event.

“Most of us got a good chuckle out of the various messages that were left on the Twitter accounts for Barack Obama, Britney Spears, Bill O’Reilly and others this morning. But one other message came through loud and clear – Twitter is not yet ready for prime time, even though users continue to flock to the service.” Twitter Gets Hacked, Badly (first accessed  30th November 2009)

Rest assured I have since changed ALL my passwords!

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