Ruffled feathers

A little bird told us we should consider changing our Twitter passwords

Feathers were no doubt flying at Twitter HQ recently when it was discovered that a security breach may have compromised a “substantial” number of users’ passwords.

No one likes to have their personal social media accounts violated, even if they just use them to share cat videos and pictures of their lunch. When a business account is hacked – one of a company’s shop windows to the world, where brands and reputations can be both elevated and destroyed in an instant – the potential consequences become very serious indeed.

So, it will not have been a good day at Twitter when someone noticed a glitch that left an undisclosed number of users’ passwords displayed in plain text for “several months”. After an internal investigation, the company declared that none of the data had been seen by anyone outside their employ and there was no evidence of any misuse or theft by insiders. However, Twitter shared the news with its users and asked us to consider changing our passwords as a simple matter of caution.

Commentators have praised Twitter for its transparency, given that they were likely to face, at best, a volley of extreme criticism. In this modern era of online logins and passwords for just about everything, cybersecurity breaches are seen by many as unforgiveable – particularly for an exclusively online platform like Twitter.

It just goes to show that basic mistakes and oversights can happen, even within a tech Goliath, so it’s no surprise that cybersecurity remains such a hot topic and lessons will be learned from this hiccup. If we’re moving more and more facets of our daily lives online – from our meaningless conversations to our life savings – we need to be able to trust the platform providers to never drop the ball. 

Are you working on a cybersecurity solution that will guard against hacking, computer errors or human fallibility? Get in touch with the TechTalk Show team on hello@techtalkshow.co.uk and share your story.

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