Attack of the Twitter Hackers!

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Account hacking is an unfortunate risk of Twitter management. Whether you’re an individual or a big brand, the threat of a hacker taking over your social media accounts is a very real one. This week, two major brands had their accounts turned inside out on Twitter. Many are wondering whether Twitter is to blame when branded pages get hacked and what can companies do to avoid a similar Twitter-based travesty.

Fast food and social media giant Burger King disabled its Twitter page on Monday when its page was taken over by hackers. The page was slapped with McDonald’s imagery and logos. “We just got sold to McDonald’s! Look for McDonald’s in a hood near you @DFNCTSC,” the hacker tweeted. In addition, for nearly two hours, the newsfeed was filled with photos and videos which skewered Burger King. “We caught one of our employees in the bathroom doing this….” read one of the tweets which accompanied a photo of a man shooting up presumably intravenous drugs.

BK quickly put its account on lockdown and apologized to followers. Yet the next day, Jeep found itself in the same predicament. Hackers tweeted that Jeep had been sold to Cadillac and the page was emblazoned with Caddy’s logo. Fortunately, both companies have the bucks and willpower to wipe these kind of ugly hacking snafus from their respective newsfeeds and neither seems to have taken a hit because of the incidents.

Many are considering the hacking attacks a wake-up call for brands of all sizes. While Twitter has been blamed for lax security policies, when it comes to branded social media accounts, it’s up to the company to protect itself. Regularly changing passwords, choosing more difficult passwords and knowing exactly who in your business has access to your Twitter and Facebook pages are the easiest ways to keep hackers out. Twitter marketing is still an incredibly powerful and fun to use tool, but it’s up to business owners to protect their branded messages and accounts.

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