Lend a little sympathy to pop star Justin Bieber today, after his Twitter account was hacked and an unauthorised message was sent to his 19 million fans.
19 million my ass. #biebermyballs
Fortunately the message was rapidly deleted, and it appears that the account was compromised more to spread embarrassing graffiti rather than with more malicious intention.
Just imagine how much worse things would have been if millions of Justin Bieber fans had seen a tweet from their hero offering, say, free concert tickets – and the link had really pointed to a website designed to strike their computers with malware.
That’s not to say that the hacker didn’t do any serious damage at all, of course. According to reports whoever broke into Justin Bieber’s Twitter account, also began to unfollow and block some of the folks that the Canadian singer follows.
If you’re one of Justin Bieber’s many fans, please learn something from your idol’s misfortune. Always choose a strong, secure password for your Twitter account and make sure that you are not using it on any other websites, and never share it with anyone else.
Furthermore, be careful that you only log into your Twitter account from a computer that is properly protected with up-to-date anti-virus software and security patches – in other words, maybe you shouldn’t trust that computer in a hotel lobby or your friend’s PC. Keylogging spyware can grab your password without you knowing, and pass it onto malicious hackers.
And remember that just because a Twitter account is “verified”, doesn’t necessarily mean you can trust every message that is posted to it.