Twitter’s new tool should stop password sharing and help fend off hijackings

Twitter. Image courtesy of Shutterstock / Twin Design.

Twitter. Image courtesy of Shutterstock / Twin Design.There are many ways to have your Twitter account hijacked: clicking on phishy links; using feeble passwords instead of unique, hefty brutes; or practicing poor password etiquette by, for example, using your pet’s name or simply handing over your password to strangers.

Of course, Twitter accounts of businesses or celebrities are particularly tempting targets.

Just ask Twitter CFO Anthony Noto about that: his was snuck out from under his nose recently.

But this week, Twitter made it safer to have one of those tempting, hijacking-target accounts.

On Tuesday, the company introduced a new feature, called TweetDeck Teams, that lets users share Twitter accounts without having to share passwords.

Twitter added the feature to TweetDeck, the account managing software it picked up in 2011.

TweetDeck Teams enables teams to delegate different access levels to team mates for as long as they need it. Then, when they don’t, zip! You can take it away.

Twitter has a video showing how to use it at the link above, which you can also see here on YouTube.

Twitter says that if you’re currently sharing your account, you can change the password and revoke app access to ensure that from now on only the people you’ve just added will have access.

The tool also makes it possible for anyone sharing an account to use Twitter’s two-factor authentication, or what it calls “login verification”.

That will send a one-time login code to a user’s phone that they need to enter in addition to a username and password. It’s another layer of protection against would-be account hijackers, since they’d need not only your login credentials but also your phone to take over your feed.

Teams is yet more protection for high-profile accounts that would suffer a whole lot of embarrassment if they were to be hijacked, including government organisations, celebrities and big companies.

Such accounts are typically updated by multiple people, and hence, may well be more likely to have limp, easy passwords that the whole team can remember – or ones that the team sends to each other via email/texting or that are scribbled onto sticky notes and slapped onto monitors.

Here’s hoping that Teams can lessen that security horror show!

Image of Twitter courtesy of Shutterstock / Twin Design.