TCIA’s Twitter account (@VoiceofTreeCare) was the victim of an Internet virus on Tuesday, October 16, 2012. We immediately took steps to resolve the issue, but we want to take a moment to explain the situation and provide general insight into Twitter viruses.
Please note that this hack only affected a few TCIA Twitter followers, so the general public is not affected.
The virus took hold of our Twitter account Tuesday morning and sent unintended direct messages to some our followers. The message was simple (“hey someone is spreading nasty rumors of you…”) and included a link to a malware website. If a follower clicked the link, the virus then took hold of their personal Twitter account and repeated the process.
A very small number of followers fell prey to this virus, so how can you tell if your Twitter account was affected?
- You will notice unexpected tweets or direct messages.
- You will notice other account behaviors that you didn’t make or approve.
And how should you proceed if your Twitter account was affected?
- Run a full virus scan on your computer. If you need help with this process, please contact Bruce White, TCIA’s IT Director, at 603-314-5380.
- Change your password. Select "Settings" from the dropdown menu next to your account name, which is listed on the top right on Twitter, then navigate to the "Password" tab. Be sure to choose a password that is difficult to guess.
- Don’t forget to change your password on any third-party applications you may use (Hootsuite, Tweetdeck, etc).
- Make sure you've turned off access to your account for any suspicious-looking or unknown third-party applications. You can revoke access to any apps linked to your account under the "Applications" tab in the "Settings" page.
- Delete any of the tweets or direct messages that were sent while your account was compromised.
- You can also review Twitter’s troubleshoot tips for account hacking here.
- Consider changing your passwords on your other social media outlets, as well as on your computer or smartphone. It never hurts to err on the side of caution.
To avoid Twitter viruses like this in the future, avoid clicking suspicious links. If you receive a tweet or direct message that appears to be strange, avoid clicking on it and delete it. If you’re unsure, check in with the individual who tweeted it.
Don’t forget- this advice for Twitter holds true all over the Internet. Do not click suspicious links.
TCIA sincerely apologizes for this issue. If you have further questions about this virus, or about Twitter, contact TCIA’s marketing & pr coordinator Amy Tetreault here.