The 140 Character Crime Encyclopedia

Hijacking, grand or petty theft, fraud

Time for a new Safego infographic illustrating the shady businesses that thrive on Twitter users’ almost organic need to ride the wave of hot topics and get as many followers’ attention as possible.

This is the story of good tweets gone bad (courtesy of trending topic snatchers), unwanted tweets gone galore (thanks to the wide assortment of spam bots and spam spreading schemes available out there) and of tweets that dream of turning into the Pied Piper of Hamelin (i.e. successful “follow me” schemes).

The villain lineup would not have been complete without a reference to account hijacking apps and to direct message phishing mechanisms. Imagine what would happen if a fishy app tricked you into installing it into your account and started tweeting “beer’s on me” in your name. Best case scenario, you end up owing your (countless) followers a treat. If the highjacked account is a corporate account, the consequences might be far worse than that. As for direct phishers, they’ll rely on the direct messaging option to create the warm and fuzzy feeling of a one-to-one interaction. “Remember me? No? Anyway, I have this thing you absolutely cannot miss. Just click HERE”. That’s a whole lot of tweet mess waiting to happen!

Follow our super-duper map of Twitter villain land and learn how to stay safe:

Pretty scary, isn’t it?

P.S.: Here’s a little comforting song that our fellow big bang theorists may sing to calm down their distressed Twitter accounts: “Soft tweety, little tweety, little ball of words/ Happy  tweety, sleepy tweety, purr, purr, purr”. If that doesn’t work, they might just install Safego for Twitter, the wondrous tool that provides anti-scam protection for them and their friends. Bazinga!


About the author

Ioana Jelea

Ioana Jelea has a disturbing (according to friendly reports) penchant for the dirty tricks of online socialization and for the pathologically mesmerizing news trivia. From gory, though sometimes fake, death reports to nip slips and other such blush-inducing accidents, her repertoire is an ever-expanding manifesto against any Victorian-like frame of thought that puts a strain on online creativity. She would like to keep things simple, but she never does.