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Do you tweet and twitter?

Posted in Crime Prevention May 1st, 2009 @ 9:58 am

For those of you who enjoy tweeting and twittering be careful that the 140 characters you are reading may have come from an imposter. Many people such as celebrities, athletes, politicians and media personalities are using this hugely popular social networking site – Twitter.

Wikipedia defines “Twitter as a freee social networking site that is used over the Internet. But when you twitter you are using SMS which may incur phone service provider fees. Since its creation in 2006 by Jack Dorsey, Twitter has gained extensive notability and popularity worldwide. It is often described as the “SMS of Internet,” in that the site provides the functionality via its application programming interfaces for other desktop and web-based applications to send and receive short text messages, often obscuring the Twitter service itself.”

However, lately Twitter hackers have been assuming identities of personalities and are twitterjacking. According to experts who told FOXNews.com, the Twitter site does not verify identification. Anyone can set up an e-mail account, change a letter or two and then pretend to be you.

The effect of phony profiles and can be serious. For example, a twitterjacker may have hacked into Britney Spears’ profile and tweet that her upcoming concert in a city is cancelled and everyone would believe it even though it didn’t come from Britney Spears. Communicating false information from a known twitter account can be devastating to that person.

Right now twitterjacking is not a crime, but it is very frustrating to reputable twitters. So the next time you twitter, stop and think – are you really talking to the person you think you are talking to or is it a twitterjacker?

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