As of 2016, Twitter has 313 million users. For years now, people have been tweeting out their 140 characters of content. Celebrities use it to talk directly to their fans. Activists around the world use it for organising. Magazines, news agencies, airlines, and other businesses use Twitter to promote themselves. However, should you be learning how to hack a Twitter account?
The Twitter Environment
The rest of us, including many parents and teens, use it to crack a joke occasionally, to re-tweet things that we find insightful or entertaining, and to broadcast our own views. We have discussions with our friends who live far away or close by. We even use it to communicate with our favourite celebrities. Twitter has a great capacity to connect us.
Unfortunately Twitter, as with most places where people are given free rein, has an unsavoury side. There are porn links and people posting nude photos or obscene images of corpses or injuries. People use Twitter to repeat sexist and racist memes. Any website with hundreds of millions of users is going to have people who don’t all share the same moral outlook. This is a great thing for freedom of expression, but it can be daunting to parents.
There is a thin line between unsavoury and illegal. Sometimes people cross this with the content they post, but often people cross this line by invading the privacy of others. Accessing someone else’s account without their permission is not only immoral but also illegal. Twitter hacking, as it is known, is one example of this. Are you wondering how to hack a Twitter account? read on.
How to Hack a Twitter Account
Sometimes people will say embarrassing or racist things and then claim their Twitter account has been hacked. Despite how fake and conveniently timed those excuses are, Twitter hacking does happen for real.
Even the simplest web search will send you to multiple websites insisting they can show you how to hack a Twitter account. They often try to sell you software or even let you download it without charge. They may even offer endorsements and testimonials. However, it is sensible to view these claims with a healthy dose of scepticism. Often the software provided is malicious and designed to allow the creator to hack your computer. If you fall foul of this scam while trying to hack someone yourself then you are the victim of poetic justice.
These sorts of programs are known as Trojan horses – a reference to the battle of Troy. At this battle, the Greeks gave the city of Troy a giant wooden horse as a peace offering. The horse was full of soldiers that climbed out and attacked the city folk when night fell. When it comes to Internet safety, as with siege warfare, you should always look a gift horse in the mouth.
Some websites that claim to show you how to hack a Twitter account will try to paint a veneer of innocence. “What if I forgot my password?” They prompt. Of course, Twitter has a system for password recovery already. Other software sites don’t even pretend. These websites show examples of hacked celebrities’ accounts to entice you in. Some will play on your paranoia, asking you if you want to know what your friends are saying behind your back. Don’t be a victim of their marketing and manipulation!
The Ethical Question
Risks of breaking the law and getting viruses on your computer aside, do you really want to be the sort of person who tries to hack a Twitter account, or who invades the privacy of others to find out what they are saying about you? In a moment of passionate rage, you may feel justified in doing so, but ultimately you will feel ashamed and embarrassed that you stooped so low. Remember, what others say about you is their business, not yours. Sneaking into other people’s Twitter accounts will not help your reputation.
If you really need to know what your friends are saying about you, try asking them. If you don’t trust their answer, maybe it’s time to get new friends or time to examine your own worries and talk to someone about it.
Think hard about why you want to know someone else’s private thoughts, or to speak for someone else in order to make them look ridiculous. Maybe you will find out how to hack a Twitter account, but is that something you’d be proud to tell your parents about? Understanding how the consequences of your actions will affect yourself, and others, is part of growing up. Part of the responsibility falls on parents and teachers to teach this, and part falls on the child or teen to lead their life well and honestly.
Celebrity accounts are often the targets of hackers. People want to be famous themselves or make a famous, admired person look smaller or awful. Tearing other people down is no way to feel better about yourself. Some teens are convinced they hate a celebrity so much that the celebrity deserves it. The reality is that often people don’t know what a celebrity is really like.
Learning how to hack a Twitter account and how to protect yourself from hacking is, in many ways, two sides of the same coin. There is a whole industry called penetration testing where former hackers are employed by big companies to test their security systems. You can turn your learning and knowledge to good, just like them.
- Never give out your home address. Don’t make it part of your password or your username.
- Don’t set Twitter to location awareness. You have to go into your settings and turn it off, but it’s worth it. It’s much safer if people don’t know where you are when you tweet.
- Don’t give anyone your password.
- Don’t follow back people you’re not sure about. People you follow can send you direct messages. Sometimes these people are scammers who will get you to click on bad URLs.
- If you upload pictures or videos, check out their metadata tags to make sure they don’t reveal more than you want them to.
- Don’t click links in direct messages. Even people you trust can respond to a bad URL and then send out scam emails to everyone they know.
- Don’t enter your username and password for Twitter on websites that aren’t Twitter.com
- Don’t click on links on Twitter unless you use a tool to expand the URL so you know where it goes, or the full URL is already apparent.
How venerable are you to Twitter Hacking?
Has all of this discussion of Twitter hacking made you worried about your Internet security? If so, don’t worry unduly – for the vast majority of Twitter accounts there is no real reason for someone to hack them. If you follow the instructions above you’re most likely to be completely fine.
Also, it’s worth thinking about not giving anyone a reason to hack a Twitter account belonging to you. If you are not a celebrity, you are a kind person and you have nothing compromising on your Twitter account, then the chances that someone would want to hack you are very low.
What should you not put on your Twitter account?
People will tell you that you should never tweet something you wouldn’t want your whole family to see. This is a good general rule, although everyone’s family is different. Ultimately, it is up to you what you put on your Twitter account, but it is smart to think about it in the long term. Consider worst-case scenarios: What if a future employer saw it? A teacher? Your elderly grandmother?
You can also make your Twitter account private. When your Twitter is locked, only people you follow can see what you tweet. If you choose to make your Twitter account private after you’ve been posting a while, your entire history on your Twitter account will be made private retroactively. Having a private Twitter can be a great idea for a teen. It is also harder to hack a Twitter account if it is private. Some parents choose to lock their Twitter so they can feel more comfortable posting pictures of their young children.
Don’t think of Twitter as fundamentally good or bad. It is more like a space in the physical world; you wouldn’t call a pavement bad because a person got stabbed on it, just as you wouldn’t call it a good pavement if someone’s life were saved on it. It is simply a space where we can interact. Twitter has been used for activism as well as bullying. There are funny accounts that will leave you actually laughing out loud. The actors you love will live-tweet your favourite TV show, or give you behind the scenes pictures. There are many great things you can get out of your Twitter account. Enjoy it safely.
This is a serious topic, and the reason we at NoBullying.com have written this content is to attract people searching for this topic or certain phrases online and bring them to a resource website that offers understanding, support and help. While we do discuss how to hack a Twitter account, the aim of this article is to also offer support, and advice and point to more helpful content. If you are reading this article and believe the subject matter offends you, needs elaboration or that the topic has room for improvement, please comment below so that we can share your input with the rest of our readership. If you are worried about your safety online and the safety of your loved ones please contact us below for more help and tips.