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140 Character Catastrophe: AP Hack Highlights The Need For Twitter Security

140 Character Catastrophe: AP Hack Highlights The Need For Twitter Security

1.9 million people heard the story from Twitter first. The Associated Press (AP), one of the most respected news sources on the planet, was reporting that there had been two explosions at the White House, and that President Barack Obama had been injured.

The good news: the Tweet was fake, entirely a hacker’s creation.

The bad news: The Dow Jones stock exchange plunged 128 points in seconds, as the automated systems that facilitate much of the trading reacted to the ‘news’.


What can we learn from this?

Verify Accuracy Before You Act – Not After!

Social media platforms are increasingly becoming the broadcast tools of choice for breaking news, but it turns out that facts that are delivered quickly are not necessarily facts that are wholly accurate. We certainly saw this during the Boston Bomber manhunt, where inaccurate and conflicting reports about what was going on were very prevalent on social media.

We’re constantly told that time is money, but sometimes, moving too fast can result in costly errors. Prior to responding to any information received from social media, it’s essential that there is some verification going on. Check multiple sources to determine reliability before taking actions that impact your business.

Bear in mind that the SEC has recently ruled that publically traded corporations can use social media to make announcements regarding their operations provided their investors are aware that information will be disseminated this way. If this is relevant to your business, it’s a good idea to have some internal discussions regarding your reliance on and responsiveness to social media.

Best Practices for Twitter Security

We don’t have all of the details regarding the AP hack yet, but we do know that the news agency was subjected to a phishing attack previously. Hackers are very smart, very sneaky people. They will try numerous routes to get to the information they want.

Maintaining Twitter security for your organization means being aware that every organization is vulnerable. You may not think that your company is big enough or important enough to capture a hacker’s attention, but why take chances?

Best practices for Twitter security begin with strong password generation. Ideally, use a random combination of letters, numbers and symbols. There are services like Random.Org and that will create a complex password for you, thwarting most hacker’s efforts. People don’t like random passwords because they’re hard to remember, but hackers hate them because they’re tough to crack. There are multiple password management tools you can use to keep track of difficult passwords. Let technology make enhancing your social media security easier.

Change your password regularly – especially if you’ve recently had staffing changes! Many sites require quarterly password changes, but you can do so more frequently if you’d like.

Protect your passwords with the same intensity and fervor you would give to the combination to the company safe or the keys to your home. Not everyone needs access to everything! A little discretion can save you some big headaches down the road. Be especially wary of any e-mails that ask you to verify your password or direct you to log in directly from the email: these are tools hackers use to gain control of your social media accounts.

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Creative Director/Senior Designer

Tom DiGrazia

With over a decade and a half of professional design experience, Tom brings his knowledge of design principles and focus on user experience to every aspect of his contribution to TTG. Paying special attention to each client’s brand, personalized needs and individual interests, he strives to create compelling concepts utilizing intuitive and highly-refined design solutions. In addition to traditional and digital design work and oversight at TTG, Tom also boasts a wide portfolio of web development projects with the company, allowing him to stretch his CSS and HTML skills across multiple platforms and disciplines. He feels that being a designer in the digital landscape of websites, eCommerce solutions, email marketing platforms and social media, it is important to understand the code that goes into these areas as it assists his ability to tailor designs specifically targeted to achieve the best end result and further builds understanding and communication with backend development teams.

In his off hours, Tom is an avid pop culture enthusiast, staying up to date on the latest shows, films, comics and games. He can also typically be found taking part in a whole host of artistic activities that help him further stretch his creative legs. Regardless of the activity, Tom is always accompanied by his dog, Eli, and his cat, Tib.

Design, Photography, Illustration, Digital Imagery Manipulation, Wesbite Development

Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, Lightroom, HTML/CSS, Wordpress


Courtney Dumont

As Senior Marketing Strategist & Analyst at Technology Therapy Group, Courtney is energized by the ability to flex both her left and right brain daily. Courtney discovered her passion for Marketing at Bryant University, where she spearheaded research on students’ perceptions of Social Media Marketing for her Honors Capstone Project. After graduating Bryant in 2012, she joined the Technology Therapy team, where she’s honed her skills in social media, search and social advertising, email marketing, SEO, and more.

Since joining the team, Courtney has created digital marketing strategies and managed campaigns for clients across the country, ranging from plastic surgery centers, to jewelry stores, to construction companies. With a cohesive, cross-channel approach and a focus on data-driven decision making, she has increased their leads by up to 217%. But Courtney doesn’t leave her zeal for social media at the office; she also runs a local foodie Instagram account with her husband to document their meals across Rhode Island and beyond. Check them out: @hoppilyfed.

Marketing Strategy, Data Analysis, Google Ads, Facebook Ads, Social Media

Google Analytics, Google Ads, Facebook Ads, Facebook Creator Studio, Instagram, Klaviyo, Mailchimp, Emma Mail, Google Data Studio, WordPress, YouTube, LinkedIn, Facebook, Microsoft Office