Following an internal discovery that the passwords of a large number of users on Twitter have been left unencrypted and were available in plain text form for everyone within the company to read, the micro messaging site had advised all its users to change their passwords.
If you have a Twitter account and if you are yet to alter the last password you had used on Twitter, now is the time to effect that change. This will ensure that your Twitter account remains secure.
If you are not clear on how to go about it, here are the steps you will need to take.
The Normal Steps to Change Password
- You will have to log in to your Twitter account first using your current password as you would generally do.
- If you wish to change your password first, then go to Settings. Under Settings, you will find the Privacy button and under it the Password button.
- The same process you will encounter in any website, like entering your existing password and then creating a new password, has to be followed; again, as you will be already accustomed to, you need to enter your new password twice.
- Now you have changed your password, click on the Save Changes button to complete the process and the Twitter site administrator will update the records. When you try to log in again, the new password you created will be valid and the old one no longer useful.
Choosing the Right Password
This is an area many people fail to appreciate. The normal tendency is to create a password that the individual can remember. Since they often do not write it down and keep it, many people try and keep their passwords as simple as they can.
But this is exactly what the cybersecurity experts will advise you vehemently not to do. If you desire data privacy, then you must make sure your password is complicated and not easy for a hacker to figure out easily.
You may keep the following in view while entering the characters for a new password for your Twitter account or for any other important online registrations you do in future.
- A single word-based password is not recommended. Hackers have found new techniques at finding words using dictionary attacks. This helps them run a check on words, and your password can be figured out in very little time.
- The expert recommendation is to always combine letters, numerals and special characters (like #, @, $ or even !). Hackers may not find it easy to reach such combinations.
- There are some who advocate using a phrase or a quote you can remember easily—one that only you are familiar with so that the intending hacker will find it difficult to crack it. Still, make sure the phrase is complicated, including a combination of numbers, characters and symbols.
- The other advice that is often given is if you have multiple accounts, then don’t use the same password across all of them. This applies within Twitter and elsewhere too.
A More Secure Password Setting Available
Now, if you are convinced that your data security in public platforms like Twitter is very critical and you would want to further fortify your password so that there is practically no chance of someone else hacking in and posting messages in your name, there is another way. In this, you can add a double verification or authorization process using your mobile number. A particular code is texted to you each time you wish to log in.
Here’s how to set up this feature:
- Once inside the Twitter site, go to the Privacy tab under Settings, you will have to click on your Account.
- There is an option for login verification.
- By now, you have already set your strong password as suggested above. Simply enter the password and you will then be asked to provide your mobile number.
- You will then receive a code as a text message sent to your phone.
- This is no different from the one-time-password digits you receive on occasions where you register for a new account on any online service.
- Once you enter the text received in the slot, Twitter’s site administrator will register the information and your account is marked for two-stage password verification in the future. Every time you log in to your Twitter account, the same process will be followed and you are now secure.
Tip: Learn to Reset Passwords in Case You Forget
It is not unusual to find people forgetting their passwords. As discussed above, those having a poor memory by nature don’t wish to create complex passwords that they themselves can’t remember. But the compulsions of reality demand that the password be a little complex and if you forget it, there is a way to reset the password.
Twitter has a separate tutorial to guide account holders to reset their passwords if they’ve forgotten it.
The normal procedure on Twitter is not very different from what you notice in any other platform. Your identity will be verified through the email ID and mobile number you gave when registering. Then, based on your request, an email link or a text code will be sent to your email ID or mobile. With that, you can come back to the site and rest your password.
Obviously, you cannot use the same password you had used earlier; the site would automatically disable it. Don’t forget to follow the recommended ways of choosing the new password.
The codes sent on these occasions are valid for use, for a short duration, usually 10-15 minutes. If you fail to come back to the Twitter site and enter it within this duration, it will lapse and you will have to go back to repeat the process all over again.
A password is a private information and should remain just between the user of the account and the site’s administrator, which is a machine and not a human.