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How to protect your digital wallets after the big Twitter hack

How to protect your digital wallets after the big Twitter hack

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Twitter is the second-biggest social media company in the world valued at more than $28 billion. It has more than 300 million monthly active users around the world and more than $3 billion in revenue. That makes it one of the most important companies in the world. As such, news that the company was hacked, sent shivers around the world.

Also, it raised important questions about the safety of other popular companies like PayPal, Skrill, and Google Wallet. In this report, we will look at the best ways to protect your digital wallets from online fraudsters.

Twitter hack explained

On Wednesday, hackers accessed the Twitter accounts of some of the most powerful brands and users in the world. After accessing the accounts, the hackers sent similar messages demanding payment in form of Bitcoins. Among those hacked were accounts for Uber, President Obama, Kim Kardashian, and Apple, among others.

According to the Financial Times, the FBI has started a full-blown investigation on how this attack happened and those involved. Still, a closer look shows that the hackers potentially saw a vulnerability of Twitter’s systems and accessed the signing information of the victims. That also means that other platforms, too, could be hacked.

Strong password

Having a strong password is one way you can protect your digital wallets to prevent them from being hacked. Unfortunately, many people still use passwords that are easy to hack such as their first names, year of birth, and numbers.

Instead, we recommend that you use long passwords that combine alphabets, numeric figures, and symbols. For example, a combination like “xbTg5tp??” is not easy to guess.

Most importantly, we recommend that you don’t use the same password across various accounts. Having just one password will make it easy for a hacker to access your other accounts. Finally, have a habit of changing your Twitter and other online passwords regularly.

Users should not allow anyone to access their online account details including passwords, this is for both platform providers or online banking accounts. It’s best to either keep your password written down, or to use an app like a password manager for Mac (if you’re a Mac user) or something similar for your OS. 

Since all this can be difficult, we recommend that you use a good online password manager like Dashlane and LastPass.

Two-step authentication

Another way to protect your digital accounts is through a two-step authentication. This is a process where you receive a key when you try to access your account. Most companies send you a key through an SMS or through an email. Others, like Yahoo and Microsoft, let you authenticate the sign up by an app.

The benefit of using 2FA is that it sends you a message whenever someone tries to access the account. As an example, a few months ago, someone accessed my Netflix account, changed my password and restarted my subscription. I was able to address that immediately because I received a message when they signed in.

A common way through which hackers access accounts is through phishing. This is a process where they send you a message that looks similar to an official message. They then ask you to change a password, and as you do that, they get access to your accounts. This is the same approach that they used to hack emails of John Podesta, the campaign manager of Hillary Clinton in 2016. Therefore, always look at the senders before you click a link that is sent.

Final thoughts

After the Twitter hack, analysts believe that the number of hacks will continue to increase. They also believe that digital wallets like those offered by Google and PayPal are at higher risks. Therefore, we recommend that you use the methods described above to protect your accounts.

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Crispus Nyaga
Crispus Nyaga
Crispus is a financial analyst with over 9 years in the industry. He covers the stock market, forex, equities, and commodities for some of the leading brands. He is also a passionate trader who operates his family account. Crispus lives in Nairobi with his wife and son.