These days I can’t log on to Twitter without another money making scheme account following me. Now that the social network has gone mainstream it has become a breeding ground for people trying to sell you stuff you don’t want or even worse malicious crooks out to infect your computer.
Here are 11 Twitter tips to keep you safe:
1. Friends and Followers – be selective about who you follow. If someone is following way more people than they have followers then it may be best to avoid them. They could be “Follow Spammers” more interested in gaining exposure than in finding interesting Tweets.
2. Before you follow someone, check out their recent Tweets to see if they are of interest to you before you add them (or of interest at all). Never auto follow.
3. Keep a limit on the number of Twitterers you follow. If you are following too many people then you’re simply going to suffer from information overload and you won’t be able to find the gems so easily.
4. Don’t click on a link from anyone you don’t know or trust. Many Twitterers use TinyURL or similar to shorten URLs (I do) but this camouflages the true source so you don’t know what your clicking on. These could be disguised links to potentially dangerous sites or viral downloads so be careful and keep your anti virus software up to date.
5. Monitor the Tweetosphere and make sure you are aware of anyone who mentions you so that it comes to your attention and you can be ready to counter any adverse Twittering.
6. Read the Twitter blog for updates and information on malware and spam issues.
7. Secure your Twitter name. Get a Twitter profile in your business name before someone else does.
8. Use your common sense when Twittering and remember that most of these announcements can be seen by anyone and everyone. You don’t really have to announce that you’re away from home.
9. If someone you’re following overloads you with spam then use the Twitter block at the right of the side panel to block them and let Twitter know too.
10. Call on the community. If something adverse does happen then make your community aware of it. You will be amazed at the support, advice and action of the collective.
11. Use the “protect my updates” function in your Twitter settings if you only want people you select to view your Tweets.
12. Don’t spam – goes without saying but just because lots of others are doing it doesn’t mean you should get spammy too. Watch your tweets and always try to add value rather than sell.
For more great tips read Gillian Shaw’s article in this weekend’s Vancouver Sun.