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My Sister's Twitter Account Has Been Hacked!

Updated on August 4, 2009

I got a message on my personal yahoo mail, saying that my sister has sent me a direct message on twitter.

I am not a big fan of Twitter, mainly because I am so lazy when it comes to maintaining it active. But this has nothing to do with Twitter, it’s a personal issue. I used to have Friendster and Multiply accounts, both of which I was not able to maintain. I now have a Facebook account but I am really struggling to keep it active.

When I started writing blogs and hubs, all the tips I read pointed to using Twitter as a means of promoting my work, so reluctantly I opened one. In reality, I have already opened a Twitter account several months back, using my personal email but consistent me soon forgot the password I used and did not really have much network there. So I opened another account using my mommyfreelancer email – the email I use for all my blogging and hubbing works.

Going back to my original story, I received a message on my personal mail from my sister’s twitter account:

Very, very intriguing, right? The hackers sure knew the value of an explosive headline. The message varies, since my sister received a different one:

My sister maintains that Twitter account to promote her travel website, She is a professional visual design artist, and creates unique fashion accessories on the side. She has been shipping many of her accessories abroad and if you’re interested in those you can send her a message through her website.

Going back to the Twitter story, I clicked on the link, intrigued with what it will reveal to me. It did not disappoint, in terms of surprising me. This is what faced me when I clicked on the link given by the Twitter message:

Am I glad I have my anti-virus on!

Day 4 HubChallenge

The Emotional Factor

While there was thankfully nothing lost, there is always an emotional issue involved in these incidents. When this happens, the question of whether the internet is safe or not resurfaces. And in this time when many financial transactions are done online, the security of information passed in the internet is of utmost importance to all of us.

We are all taking risks whenever we transact online. And we all trust the website to be responsible enough to do their job. Looking at the bigger scheme of things, the website has a lot more to lose if their privacy policy and their security system are breached compared to an individual like me or my sister. But these things happen, that’s the sad truth.

I remember a particular buyer I had. He told me that he worked for Yahoo. One time, when he thought I was not answering his emails, and I was on invisible mode in YM (which I always am when working on a piece), he sent me this instant message:

“I know you’re online. I work for yahoo, remember”.

I told him right there and then that he should not send me these messages, and furthermore, he should not abuse whatever authority he has that goes with his work. More importantly, he should not violate my privacy that was guaranteed by Yahoo.

While a friend who works for Google has assured me that the message is just a bluff, it still bothered me for sometime.

Weighing the Benefits vs. the Risks

Really, there is much benefit brought about by online transactions. First and foremost of which is convenience. Imagine not having to go to the bank to pay for all our house bills! A good hour is saved because I don’t have to drive the car, park it on the bank, fill-up transaction slips and wait in line for my turn. That hour can instead be used more productively…creating hubs, for example.

There are other benefits, and one is connectivity. Social networking sites allow us to connect and keep in touch with our friends, long lost or otherwise. This benefit is very much appreciated by people whose friends and family are in another land. With these social networking sites, people are able to send messages, chat, post images, to name a few, to each other. This never would have been possible without the internet.

Of course, one obvious benefit of these sites is the free advertising opportunity it affords to people who are trying to make money online or otherwise. Twitter is a very good example, if not the best, of these sites. Even lazy me uses Twitter to promote my hubs and other blogs.

But with all these benefits come the risk, such as was shown by the incident that happened to my sister’s Twitter account. Now she fears that she has to create another one and look for her connections once again. Through Twitter, of course.


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    • profile image

      Peter Couch 7 years ago

      After you recover all the account details and use your accounts again, consider all the password changed to a more secure one. Here you can learn how to set stronger passwords.

    • profile image

      masmasika 8 years ago

      Great hub. This is something to really consider when transacting online. I learned something from your hub. Great hub and thanks.

    • mommyfreelancer profile image

      mommyfreelancer 8 years ago from Philippines

      Thank you, RCold. Yes, it can really be scary. But it's a risk we all take. That's a good point about changing the passwords often. And my husband always tells me NEVER to save passwords.

    • profile image

      RCold 8 years ago

      That is really scary. We can do all we can to protect our information and yet there could be someone working at a company who steals it. Another thing to do is to regularly check your accounts for anything fishy and to change your passwords on a regular basis. Good Hub!

    • profile image

      altumviditur - the sister 8 years ago

      i tried to log in a couple of times in my twitter account, but failed. twitter may have detected that that there is something wrong so it sent me a message to my yahoo (which i used to sign up) telling me to reset my password. So I did, but stubborn me still used the old password. My twitter account still posted 2 more spams after. So I reset my password again and used a different password. I think that solved the problem.

      Lesson learned: when your account is hacked, or you suspect that it is hacked, change your log in password. Good thing I did not have to create a new account. Phew.