This month, the team from Social Media NZ looks at the important lessons you can learn from a hacked twitter account (including how to prevent it from happening in the first place!), Facebook creates a subtle lead generating system and the question is tabled, will social media be able to put bums on Rugby World Cup seats?
Twitter hacking: what to do and how to avoid it.
On 12 August, like any other morning, Social Media NZ’s creative director John Lai opened up his Twitter. For some reason though, on this particular morning it wasn’t working. After trying his password a few more times it became clear there was a problem. He’d been hacked and it turns out, wrestling control of your account back isn’t as straight forward as you’d hope.
You could be thinking that he must have been suckered in by a dodgy link or scam. He probably (unwittingly) has a few times. So this is the first bit of advice: If you’re unsure about anything you’ve clicked on, change your password immediately.
Submitting a ticket to Twitter is the officially recommended course of action but days passed with no reply and then things got a little more serious when his account got deleted.
Frustrated, he submitted another ticket to Twitter. At the same time, his twitter community warned him through the @socialmedia_nz account that his twitter profile had been completely changed - different avatar, biodata, and three years’ worth of tweets and retweets deleted. Same follower/following list but a completely different profile.
After lots of back and forth, and finally tracking a Twitter employee down (on twitter of course) he got his account back from the hacker. Not before a scary moment where both he and the hacker had control of his account – making for some very schizophrenic tweeting.
Not a big deal? Well, maybe not so much for a personal account. Frustrating, certainly. And given many people use personal accounts to make business contacts and promote personal brands, inconvenient. But if this were a major corporate business account, these hackers could cause some serious issues.
So did he potentially spot a security loophole that Twitter have yet to fix? Possibly, but while they’re working on it back at HQ here are some tips on how to protect yourself.
- Use a different password
Try to have a Twitter only password, people tend to have the same passwords for all their platforms and that makes them an easier target for these hackers.
- Activate HTTPS on Twitter
This improves the security of your account and better protects you from eavesdropping if you’re using Twitter over an unsecured Internet connection, such as a public Wi-Fi network.
- Revoke connections
Sometime hackers can still have access via applications that you have connected with. Make sure you visit the connections tab in account settings. Revoke access for any third-party application that you don’t recognise – to be extra safe, all of them – and re-connect again.
- Update your security
Once connected to the internet, you’re susceptible to malware and other viruses if your OS security is not up to date. It’s vital to update regularly.
At the end of the day, Twitter can only help so much in protecting your digital life. We need to be aware of what we’re doing online making sure we don’t click on any questionable links and are keeping up to date on the latest scams.
Facebook creates a controversial lead generation system
Facebook recently flipped the switch on a function that allows expected parents to add their unborn baby to their list of family members. It’s a new option called "Expected: Child” and it’s causing a bit of a stir.
It was developed (according to Facebook) because, apparently too many parents were creating "illegal” fake profiles for their yet unhatched offspring — setting their fake babies’ ages to 13 in order to comply with Facebook rules, instead of negative whatever.
So what does Facebook do? Designs a loophole whereby parents can create profiles for their underage children.
This latest move has thrown fuel on the fire for people who already feel uncomfortable about the inevitable privacy issues associated with having young children profiled or featured on the popular social media site. Whichever side of the argument you find yourself on, there’s no denying that from a business perspective, the future proofing potential behind this move is pretty genius.
Will social media put bums on seats for the rugby world cup?
The Rugby World Cup is one of the largest sporting events this country has ever seen. And, as expected, social media platforms will be playing a huge role in bringing the event to life for people at home.
The official World Cup Facebook page has 1.2 million "likes” and counting. In a recent social media rugby event held in Auckland organisers told us that they were establishing a full-time Twitter crew, including various interpreters, to answer any Rugby World Cup related questions 24 hours a day.
Meanwhile a recent nationwide, 30-day tour of the Web Ellis Trophy saw more than 25,000 rugby fans pose with the prized piece of silverware - and then see their images posted on Flickr.
RNZ 2011 estimates around 40 percent of ticket sales so far have been generated by social media
"We think that no event before has made use of these social media developments to such an extent,” says RNZ 2011’s CEO Martin Snedden. "People from all over the world have found they can get total access to what we are doing here.”
So has the RWC successfully used social media as a channel to put bums on seats? It’ll be interesting to see once the competition ends and the analyses start to roll in, meanwhile, they’re certainly doing an impressive job at making sure the experience is as full as possible for the digital audience.
Here’s how you can keep up with RWC 2011 online:
You can visit our website at www.socialmedianz.com We would love to hear your thoughts by tweeting us at @socialmedia_nz