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Prevent Your Twitter And Social Media Accounts From Hacking

Today, another major hacking occurred to a trusted news source, the Associated Press. This particular hacking was not light in its messaging. A tweet stating “Breaking: Two Explosions in the White House and Barack Obama is injured” was sent at 12:13pm CST resulting in thousands of RT’s, the stock market briefly crashing 143 points, and a world fearful of another potential terrorist attack.

Quickly, White House and AP staff confirmed the tweet was baseless and a result of a hack.

This is not the first time a major brand has been hacked. Burger King’s twitter account was hacked in February, and numerous Major League Baseball accounts were compromised in 2012.

How does this happen? Often times, hacking results due to weak passwords. This is not the sexy, technical answer expected. Other reasons include giving permission to third party applications to find out various pieces of information about your account: who isn’t following you back, top connections, your Twitter crush, etc.

In the Associated Press case, this could have been a focused initiative by an unknown group who first attempted to steal AP journalist passwords. Mike Baker, AP reporter tweeted “The AP Hack came less than an hour after some of us received an impressively disguised phishing email.”

There is another side to this story: Twitter appears extremely vulnerable to hacking. Earlier in 2013, Twitter reported 250,000 account passwords had been compromised by hackers and issued no further comment. In June 2012, popular professional networking site LinkedIn endured a security breach impacting 6.4 million users and their passwords.

Quick tips for users to prevent hacking

  • Change your passwords every 90 days
  • Avoid using the same password for all of your accounts
  • Avoid using a family members name that someone close to you could easily guess
  • Use numbers, upper and lower case letters, and symbols (when allowed)

All social networking sites must be serious about preventing what feels like constant hacking. Two-factor authentication is one solution. This would enable the social channel to send a text verification code to your phone or email after you log in to ensure you are the owner of the account. Adding an extra layer of security may prevent numerous hacking attempts, until the hackers find another way.

Have you been hacked or compromised before? Share your story in the comment area below.

Jason

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How To Get the New Facebook Timeline

September 22, 2011 7 comments

On September 22, Facebook announced their latest revisions which include integration with Spotify, Netflix and an overhaul on the user timeline. Access for all will be rolled out on September 30th. I am not patient enough to wait nine days for the latest and greatest version of Facebook. I thought “how would someone get access to the new  Facebook?”

Here is an idea: Google “how to get access to new Facebook.” Or, keep reading below.

I found an article from the Huffington Post which includes a video and a list of what to do. Below are the steps I followed to get access:

  1. On Facebook’s search bar, type in “Developer.” Click on the first result. Then click “Allow” to give the Facebook app access. In the next few steps, you will become a developer for a minute. Check that off the bucket list!
  2. When in the Facebook Developer App, click on “+ Create New App” button. Fill out the App display name and description. While nothing will be made public, be safe and name the app after yourself.
  3. Agree to the Developer privacy agreement. Don’t take the time to read it. You are only delaying and depriving yourself out of new Facebook.
  4. On the left side, click on “Open Graph” and type in a test verb and noun for your new app.
  5. Run through a few pages of new app information. There is no need to enter anything here. Keep on saving changes and continuing. The quicker you do this, the quicker you have new Facebook!
  6. Once completed, go back to your profile. It may take up to ten minutes, but you should have a prompt at the top of your old timeline to view the new Facebook! Hooray!

The above process is what worked for me. For those who do not want to play developer for a few minutes, there is another, yet slower way to get access: sign up for beta access where there is no guarantee on how long it will take to gain access.

Note: when you publish your timeline, only others who have followed the above steps to launch the new timeline for themselves will be able to see your new timeline. Everyone else will see the old profile.

Thanks to the Huffington Post for clearly documenting the process.

After you gain access, take the quick tour, play around and share your thoughts on Facebook’s latest and greatest version of itself.

Jason

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Testing From the Minnesota Blogger Conference

September 10, 2011 Leave a comment

Sitting in the Mobile Blogging session at the Minnesota Blogger Conference with @ojezap.

This post was created from the WordPress android app. Hope it looks good!

image

iPhone Alarms Not Y2K11 Ready

January 1, 2011 Leave a comment

Sure, this is a late post for such an issue. I would have composed something earlier, but I just woke up a little bit ago.

If you’re an iPhone owner, and rely on it’s very loud alarm to wake you up, you are likely mad right now since your alarm did not work today.

After numerous Twitter complaints and reports, it has been discovered that there is a glitch with the iOS in iPhones, including the 3, 3gs, and 4. According to Macworld, this bug fixes itself on January 3rd, just in time for the 2011 work year to begin.

There is a temporary fix for this issue. iPhone users need to set all alarms as recurring for them to work. I have verified this fix to work for myself.

Think back to eleven years ago, when all the hype in the world was the pending disaster that was to be Y2K. Nothing happened that day. More happened in Y2K11 than in Y2K, and it took an iPhone to make it happen.

Just another reason for me to wait until late June to jump ship to Sprint for the HTC Evo.

Hope the #alarmfail did not screw up your day.

~J

Twitter: @jasondouglas

Facebook: facebook.com/jasondouglas

My 7,000th Tweet Can be Yours, If The Price Is Right!

June 7, 2010 1 comment

Yes, the title does not lie.

Last week, in a moment of creativity, I decided that I would try and sell my 7,000th tweet.

What could this mean for the potential buyer?

  • You will reach my 1,600+ followers, with the overwhelming majority of them being in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area.
  • These followers include influencers in the marketing, advertising, professional sports, and television world.
  • Large amounts of awareness and potential conversation about your brand, message, and/or product.

The big question: how will we track success? This largely depends on your objective. For example: if your objective is awareness, we can measure tweets, re-tweets, and overall conversation.

This is something I will be willing to do every 500th tweet, which at the rate I tweet, will not take too long.

Right now, I have 6,970 tweets, which means you, Mr. Company, Mrs. Small Business, and Cousin Corporation, need to act quickly!

Please email me at jasonmichaeldouglas@gmail.com, connect with me on twitter: @jasondouglas, connect with me on Facebook: Jason Douglas on Facebook, on connect with me on LinkedIn: Jason Douglas on LinkedIn.

Remember, only 25 tweets separate you from some great, affordable exposure to my network.

I already have one offer for my 7,000th tweet, so hurry now!

Note: all messages will have to be approved before sending public.

Highest bidder wins!

I look forward to hearing from you soon.

~Jason Douglas

Facebook’s Homepage Facelift

Remember just a few months ago when millions petitioned against the ‘new facebook’? You’re finally getting used to the ‘new facebook’, seeing that it does have some nice qualities.

Obviously, the people at facebook do not like their members to get comfortable.  Soon, users will see a new facebook homepage which according to some, is making Facebook more closely resemble Twitter

Some of the notable changes:

  • Facebook’s popular ‘News Feed’ will be updated in real-time.
  • Filters are located in the sidebar, allowing you to control who you see updates from (friends, family, network based)
  • Statuses are more than just text and links; they can include pictures and videos now

Those are the big changes that I noticed.  Wired.com has more facebook changes in their blog with screenshots comparing the old and new.

I am going to like having the news feed updated in real-time; refreshing for new statuses was a small annoyance.  The filter system, if I understand it properly, reminds me of tweetdeck; to have high school friends, college friends, co-workers and more in their own respective group should clean out a lot of the ‘rif-raf’ that can clutter ones facebook news feed.

Personally, I like change.  I was one of four fans of the ‘new facebook’ when that was released, and this will only help enhance the facebook user experience.  Changes like these should be embraced, not petitioned against.

Will this be the last change we see for a while?  Facebook needs to develop a consistency so users can become familiar with everything that facebook has to offer.  With changes every few months, we will always be playing catch up.

Hopefully, these changes will bring a more reliable chat system and not ban certain users 🙂

~Jason Douglas

twitter: @jasondouglas

Skittles; Extreme Site Makeover

March 2, 2009 4 comments

Go to skittles.com, and tell me what you see.

If it is still how it was at 4am cst, you will see it is the twitter feed (search.twitter.com) for skittles.  Take a few minutes to enter your age, and  determine whether or not this is a good/bad thing.

After viewing their homepage, I tweeted:

“Interesting concept by Skittles; on my own, trying to figure out why this is good and/or bad. #skittles”.

I refreshed skittles.com and found my tweet on the homepage; pretty cool, right?

After seeing myself on the homepage, a thought came through my head: what is this showing everyone?  Skittles has no content generated by Skittles; all the content, with the exception of the skittles widget, on the homepage is user generated.  Our thoughts and conversations are what is representing Skittles on their site.  From what I know, this is fairly groundbreaking to publicize the conversation that is out there about a brand. The free publicity they will receive in the following days will make this marketing initiative well worth it.

The question I pose to you: Does this mean that the conversation about a product, brand, or service is now more important than the website of that product, brand, or service?

~Jason Douglas

twitter: @jasondouglas