Hey.. somebody is saying real bad stuff about you – or rather, they are not

If the people you follow on Twitter are anything like the ones I follow, the chances are you’ve had one or more direct messages recently reading something like this:

Hey.. somebody is saying real bad stuff about you ;/ [Followed by a link]

These are all fake messages. If you click the link a variety of bad things may be attempted, including sending on similar messages under your name to others and often also including things such as trying to infect your computer with a virus.

If you have, or think you may have, clicked on a dodgy link in a message like this, there are four remedial steps you should take:

  1. Change your Twitter password.
  2. Check the list of approved applications in Twitter. (Log in to, click on the drop down menu in the top right, select Settings and then Apps.) Sometimes a dodgy app is added to this list. If in doubt, you can err on the side of removing something as the worst that will happen if you wrongly remove a legit entry is that you will be prompted to login again when you are using the app in future.
  3. Make sure your computer’s anti-virus software is up-to-date. If it isn’t, update it and get it to scan your computer.
  4. Remember the lesson and don’t repeat the mistake.

Note: quite how these fake messages work varies from message to message. But if you follow steps 1, 2 and 3 you will be protected against all the permutations that have occurred so far.



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