This past week, I had three people that I know end up spewing garbage into their Twitter stream. I know this because one of the spewings was directed at me. It’s a reminder that a little bit of spring maintenance might be in order.
More on that in a second but it’s relatively easy to determine if someone has got access to your account and is sending out nasty messages. If you’re just using the Twitter web interface, just head to your homepage http://www.twitter.com/<yourname> and see what’s been sent. You’ll know right away. Or, if you’re using a third party application like Hootsuite or Tweetdeck, start a special column for Twitter messages “Sent”.
If there’s bad stuff, you’ll see it right away and you can handle it.
How did they get access to your account? Chances are, you clicked one of those links that says “LOL, I can’t believe this is you” and you’re in trouble. Change your password right away and you should be back in business.
But, let’s go one step further. Is there anyone or anything else using your account that you don’t know about? Log into Twitter and head over to your applications menu. Here, you’ll find a list of everything that you’ve approved access to your account.
If you don’t recognize the application or you did approve it once but now have a change of mind or you just don’t know, you can revoke access to your account. The next time the application wants to use your account, you’ll have to approve it. This is significant and worthwhile checking out regularly.
Since you’re on a maintenance roll, how about your other social accounts? What has access to your Facebook account? Find out by logging into Facebook and clicking here.
Are there any applications that you’re not using that need to be deep sixed? This is the place to do it!
How about Google? It’s so easy to log in to other services with your Google account. It’s very handy but do you still need to give authorization?
Check these out by logging into Google and clicking here.
Have you used your Microsoft Live account? Better check that too.
It’s not that these are bad things. The trend is to use services by authorizing with an account that you already own. It lowers the number of accounts (and passwords) that you need to maintain. It’s up to you to keep an eye on what you’re authorizing and to revoke the access if you no longer need to do it. This is one of those things that you have to do yourself.
So, when was the last time you did a little online account cleaning?