Neil Thackray’s Business Media Blog

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Twitter compromised for B2B use

The security of Twitter was badly compromised last week. My own account fell victom to the scammers which I only noticed when followers started pinging wondering why I was sending them links to sites of dubious provenance. I was not alone. Banks, politicians and many businesses that have embraced the social media revolution found themselves victims as well.

The implications of this security breach are serious for the reputation of Twitter but also question the suitability of the tool for business use. It is clear that the security of Twitter is in doubt and when coupled with the near impossibility of deleting a Tweet and the speed with which the retweet function propogates messages throughout the web many of us are wondering whether the benefits of Twitter are out weighed by the risks . How can I be sure that in three years time somone who won’t remember the details of what happened last week, searches for me and finds a series of dubious tweets apparently in my name? How can I be sure that in those circumstances they may come to a conclusion about me that is based on these scammed tweets? How will I know if the biggest business opportunity of my life passes me by because someone draws the wrong conclusion?

Twitter must takle a number of actions to restore its credibility. First and most urgently, it must find a way of expunging the scammed tweets from the system and must implore the search engines to do the same. Second it must review its security and provide users with greater protection than a simple password. Thirdly it must review its crisis management approach. It took far to long for twitter to note that there was a problem and I am unawareof any advice being offered to users about what to do about the problem.

For users of twitter, and organisations who encourqge the use of twitter for marketing and other corporate purposes it is time to consider the risks and put in place systems to deal with them or else abandon the TWitter experiment.

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March 1, 2010 - Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , ,

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