With Twitter in disarray, how to protect your account

Twitter is in disarray.

Elon Musk, its new owner, cut half of his staff. Last week, hundreds more employees decided to leave the social media company.

There are signs that your departure is affecting the system. Some users noticed problems receiving text messages to log in with two steps check. Test pages appear. Some users are seeing more unwanted messages called spam. Others report receiving new replies to long-deleted tweets and seeing saved draft tweets disappear.

Twitter will not shut down overnight. But security experts warn that severe job cuts may open the door for bad actors. They could look for weaknesses in the system and damage user accounts.

Some people are considering leaving Twitter and moving on to other social networking sites. Experts advise those who stay behind to take steps to protect their accounts.

Enable multi-step authentication

If you only use your username and password to log in to Twitter, it’s important, especially now, to add an extra step to the process. The additional step to confirm your identity, called authenticationit makes it more difficult for hackers to access your account.

Twitter has three methods to choose from: text message, an authenticator app, or a security key. But some users reported that they are not receiving text messages to authenticate their accounts.

Using an authenticator app may be your best option. This offers the greatest security.

To do this, you’ll need to download an authenticator app from the Apple or Android stores. Some examples include Google or Microsoft Authenticator, Authy, Duo Mobile, and 1Password.

Once you have downloaded the app, open Twitter on your desktop computer and click on the icon that shows ellipsis in a circle. There, select “Settings and privacy”, then “Account access and security”, and finally, “Security”.

You can then select “Authenticator App” and follow the instructions to set it up. Twitter may ask you to share your email address to do this.

Once you’re all set, you can use the self generated codes from your authenticator app to add extra security when signing in to Twitter.

Twitter headquarters in San Francisco, California on November 4, 2022. (Photo by Samantha Laurey/AFP)

Twitter headquarters in San Francisco, California on November 4, 2022. (Photo by Samantha Laurey/AFP)

Close third party access

Jane Manchun Wong is a freelance software and security researcher in Hong Kong. She suggests removing permissions to third-party websites and apps through her Twitter account.

That’s because of potential security issues with Twitter’s API (or application programming interface). API allows third parties access Data from Twitter to build apps that work with Twitter. With fewer people working at Twitter, it will take longer for the service to fix security issues.

to turn this off feature, start in the “Account access and security” tool and go to “Applications and sessions”. Here you should find all the third-party apps that are connected to your Twitter account. You may even find some from years ago that no longer exist. And you can remove access to each one.

Download your file

If you don’t like the idea of ​​losing years of your tweet history, you can download your Twitter.”File, Archive” if you want to save them. However, it may take some time to download.

This tool is only available on the desktop version of Twitter, in the “Your account” settings section. You will need to enter your password and authenticate again if you have it set.

When your file is ready to download, you will receive a notification on Twitter to download it on the desktop version of the site. While this process normally takes around 24 hours, it can now take longer. Some users have also reported that they had to try more than once.

Save your followers list

Some Twitter users are signing up for Mastodon, a previously little-known service that launched in 2016.

Mastodon is a decentralized social network. That means it’s not owned by a single company or billionaire. Instead, it is made up of a network of servers. Each server runs independently, but can be connected so that people on different servers can communicate.

You will need to select a “server” to join. But no matter which one you choose, you can still communicate with people on other servers. The process is similar to how you can email people from your Gmail account, even if they’re on Outlook or another email server.

Once you’re in, you can go to fedifinder.glitch.me and find their Twitter followers or whatever Twitter list you might need to see if they also have Mastodon accounts.

Many Twitter users have begun listing their other social networks, as well as their names and other information on their Twitter pages. This will make it easier for people to stay in touch with them, no matter what happens with Twitter.

I’m Bryan Lynn.

Associated Press reported this story. Hai Do adapted the report for Learning English.

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words in this story

departure – no. the act of leaving

check – no. proof that something is true or correct

authenticate – v. prove that something is real, true, or what people say it is

ellipse – no. a shape that resembles a flattened circle

self generated – adj. something done automatically

access – no. permission to enter or use something

feature – no. an important skill

File, Archive – no. historical records or materials

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