Levine Communications Office

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So Your Corporate Twitter Account’s Been Hacked

Posted by Levine Communications Office on February 22, 2013

By Scott Bixby

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The back-to-back hackings of Burger King’s (BKW) and Jeep’s official Twitter accounts have big companies scrambling to lock down their social media channels. These hackings, both allegedly perpetrated by a New England DJ, have brought attention to the alarming security holes on many social networks—and the ease with which hackers from Beijing or Baltimore can take over your online identity.

How do I know when a corporate account has been hacked?
“If it’s your personal account, oftentimes people will notify you once you’ve started tweeting out things that seem out of character,” according to social media and corporate brand strategist Kim Garst. “For example, if the hacker has started using your [Direct Message] function on Twitter to send links to your followers, they’ll typically let you know on some other platform that someone has hijacked your account.” For followers of corporate accounts, however, it may not be so simple. In addition to flagrant abuse of the “Caps Lock” key, the first indicator that your account has been hacked is blatantly “off-message” posts. Burger King’s account instructed followers to “Look for a McDonald’s in a hood near you.” During Jeep’s hacking, the company’s official account declared that “We just got sold to @Cadillac because we caught our employees doing this in the bathroom,” with an attached photo of a man with a prescription pill bottle. In short: If a corporate account isn’t trying to sell its own product, and says so in all capital letters, the password security has likely been defeated.

Read the rest of the article at Bloomberg Businessweek

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