Over the past 24 hours, many Twitter users have been receiving emails stating that their account may have been compromised that that their password has been reset. Because of the sheer volume of these emails that were reported, many users believed that there was a large scale attack on the social media company and a large number of account may have been compromised. This is not the case.
It is true that a large number of accounts had their passwords reset, but this was in error, according to Twitter. It is common practice for Twitter to automatically reset the password of an account that they believe to have been compromised. In a statement the company acknowledged the mistake:
“We unintentionally reset passwords of a larger number of accounts, beyond those that we believed to have been compromised. We apologize for any inconvenience or confusion this may have caused.”
So for most users, this is just a minor annoyance of having to change their account password. But look at it this way: it’s probably good practice to change your passwords semi-regularly. If you are a user that was affected by this error, take the opportunity to pick a strong new password. Too often, Twitter accounts are compromised and used to spread malware.
A good password is, in fact, not a password but a passphrase. Pick a collection of words and numbers that you can easily remember but will also add complexity to your passwords. Obviously, the longer the better. With today’s technology, cracking short passwords is trivial, and social media networks don’t exactly have the best track record of protecting user data.
While it may have just been an error this time, you never know when your online identity might be compromised. Fortunately, Twitter is proactive at locking accounts for suspicious activity.