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Can Twitter accounts get hacked?

Firstly, to be able to answer the question on whether twitter can be hacked or not, we have to know what hacking is. Hackers, in my view aren’t just computer science students with far too much time on their hands writing complicated software to try and breakdown the security barriers of a company website. Hacking is also as simple as guessing the secret answer to the security question that the person sets when they open the account.

I would just like to remind readers that hacking is illegal and can result in criminal prosecution. That did not stop me from having a go, with permission from the owner of the account. Not being a computer scientist by trade I immediately discounted the first method that we talked about. I had a look online for specially designed programmes, and although there was software that claimed to be able to hack through twitter and change their password, you had to sign up to all these premium deals. In other words, if you want to engage in hacking but do not have the complex set of computer skills needed to do it, and your stupid enough to try and download a readymade hack programme you are going to get robbed , not just of your dignity as these things rarely work but of your money too.

So the second option is simple, guess the security questions of their account. If you know the person well enough and your intentions are just to fool around on their account then this method is relatively simple and easy to do. You only need their email address. When you type it in, it will send a password reset email to their email addresses. If it is a Hotmail account or a Gmail account as many people use these days, you just have to guess the secret answer on there.  Surprisingly, this is almost always a very common question with a very common answer, like favourite food or pets names. For instance, it would surprise you to know that many people put pizza. So you’ve not just hacked into their twitter account, but also their email and potentially their face book too. However this method requires you to know the individual and therefore it is insignificant in terms of real crime.

Lastly, and perhaps the cleverest way that twitter can be hacked, combines the two previous ways and surprisingly, it is extremely common. What’s more is that people often fall for it. Fraudsters have designed apps on twitter that offers you incentives to sign up such as prizes or a free gift but in order to qualify for the competition you have to log into twitter again. Don’t! You are already logged in, and your email and password will go straight to those trying to scam you. What’s more ingenious about this method is that once they have hacked your account they send messages to all your followers saying what a fabulous deal their offering and because you sent it, you are much more likely to believe it.

Finally, as I have suggested there are many ways to gain access to other people’s twitter accounts. I was successful in getting into someone’s twitter account but I was unsuccessful with others. Some of the methods relay on good computer programming knowledge, and others require an educated guess and a bit of luck. Others still are designed to lure you into actively handing over the passwords. These apps are easy to make and can be designed by someone even with a basic knowledge of computer programming and design. So in order to protect yourself completely, click the remember password button when you log on to Twitter, so that when twitter suddenly asks you for your password, alarm bells should ring and change your secret answers to something that only you would guess.

Content Assistant – Tim Sykes – @timsykes3

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