TWITTER Tips: Real Twitter Account. Part 1 of 3. Is the person or company who is your Twitter follower, or that you are following on Twitter, a real Twitter member or a Twitter spammer? It can at times be difficult to discern between the two. The more that you use Twitter the better that you will become at detecting who is real and who is a spammer. In fact, your followers and you both need to prove yourself as being a real Twitter member. Twitter Help does offer some tips in this regard but below are some more tips to help you.
TWITTER allows you to create a public or a protected private Twitter account. Twitter, unlike some other social media sites such as Facebook, does not have a feature that allows you to decide who can follow you if you have a public Twitter account. The only way to control who can follow you is by making your Twitter account private by opting to have your Twitter account and tweets protected via Twitter 'Settings'. An unprotected public Twitter account allows anyone, including spammers, to automatically follow you without your permission. So, if a Twitter member has a public account, when trying to decide who to follow choose based on who someone is following not by who their followers are. If you do not want certain followers Twitter does have a feature that lets you unfollow, block or report someone as a spammer.
Firstly, a few facts about Spam. SPAM is defined as sending the same message multiple times to many recipients. Spam can neither be avoided nor entirely eradicated on Twitter, or on other social media sites, because spammers are constantly present everywhere on the Internet. And, spam will always be a part of the Internet due to the fact that 51% of Internet traffic is actually non-human and mostly malicious software programs that include spam.
The following numbered list provides the most reliable and the best methods for you and your followers to utilize in order to prove yourself as a real Twitter member:
(1) When you create a Twitter account Twitter gives you two options to be notified by them of a new follower. You give them your mobile number and they send you a text message and you connect your email account to Twitter enabling them to also send you an email notification of a new follower. You really should use both options. When Twitter sends you a text message notification of a new follower they also send a second text message from their number: 21212. Sometimes a Twitter follower notification shows up only as a mobile text message or only as an email notification, not as both. Many Twitter members only follow Twitter followers that appear both as a mobile text message and via their email account.
NOTE: If you have a protected private Twitter account you will usually not receive a mobile text message follower notification from Twitter until after your Twitter account has been indexed and appears via search engines. You will only receive a Follow Request e-mail notification via your personal e-mail account connected to Twitter, for example, your Gmail or Hotmail, etcetera.
(2) Add a Twitter Profile Widget to your blog and/or website. This widget displays your Twitter picture, username and a stream of your timed tweets in real-time. I used to have this widget on my blog but no longer do since I now have a private protected Twitter account as of April 2, 2012. This widget can only be used with a public Twitter account. As soon as you post a tweet to Twitter your direct tweet also appears within seconds inside of your blog or website Twitter Profile Widget. If you do an indirect tweet (called a retweet) of someone else's original tweet directly from Twitter their username will appear inside of your widget not yours. To have your Twitter username also appear in your widget beside a retweet do the retweet directly from a tweeter's official blog and/or website not via Twitter. To add this Twitter Profile Widget, login to Twitter and follow the steps at this link: https://twitter.com/about/resources/widgets/widget_profile. NOTE: A Twitter member who has a protected private account (as I do now) will not have a Twitter Profile Widget on their sites since their stream of tweets is also protected making tweets invisible to the public on Twitter, ergo, tweets will not appear inside of this widget, either.
(3) Upload your picture on to your Twitter profile. If you have a a picture of yourself on your blog and/or website also upload one of yourself to Twitter. Make certain that the pictures clearly depict you. If you are an employee of a business with your own personal business related Twitter profile upload a picture of yourself to it and include your direct personal business URL address website page link, if you have one. Also, add your business's blog and/or website URL link(s) to your Twitter profile. The majority of real Twitter members usually do also have an official blog and/or website, if they do not have another official site then it is suspicious and most likely a spammer.
(4) Add a Twitter Button to your blog and/or website. Twitter has these buttons: Follow Me, Share a Link, Mention and Hashtag. To add one or all of these buttons login in to Twitter and follow the steps at this link: https://twitter.com/about/resources/buttons. Preferably, you should use a Twitter 'Follow Me' button that includes and displays your Twitter username. As you can see at the upper right of my blog, I have a Twitter 'Follow Me' button that displays my Twitter username: @PamelaJParr50. It is a flash (animated) widget and you can get the same one or choose another at this link: http://www.twitterflash.net/
A Twitter member with an official personal or professional blog and/or website should definitely also have a Twitter 'Follow Me' button on their sites. Not all real Twitter members do have Twitter 'Follow Me' or other types of Twitter buttons or widgets on their other sites but they are still legitimate. Trust the ones most who do have Twitter buttons and widgets on their sites (especially if they have a public Twitter account with a Twitter Profile Widget). Click this link: Twitter Profile Widget.
Spammers do impersonate others such as well-know people and corporations, as well as their blogs and websites, so even if you do see that a Twitter member does have a Twitter 'Follow Me' button or has an account that has been verified by Twitter (click on this word: Verified for an explanation) there is a safer way to follow them. Instead of clicking on their Twitter profile 'Follow Me' button type their blog or website URL address in to your browser's address bar, then click on their Twitter 'Follow Me' button via their other site(s).
(5) A real Twitter member who provides a link to their official blog or website should also have an attribution (copyright) usually at the bottom of their site's home page. Most sites indicate the year of their site's creation and the current year 2012, such as I do at the bottom of my blog: 'Pamela J. Parr 2011-2012 Copyright. Computer Repair Service, Fredericton, NB, Canada. Powered by Blogger'. Most reputable bloggers and website owners will keep this information up-to-date whereas a lot of spammers who have fake blogs and websites certainly do not.
(6) Sign up to other social media sites such as Facebook, LinkedIn, MySpace, etcetera, and connect them all to your blog and website by adding their related social media profile widgets and buttons such as: Follow Me, Share, Like and Mention on to your sites. I have a Twitter Follow Me button at the bottom of my website home page at this link: http://sites.google.com/site/pamela1parr
(7) Be cautious of following Twitter members who have this stated in their Twitter profile bio: "Follow Me, I Follow Back" or "We Follow Back" or "I Always Follow Back". They are usually spammers.
(8) Verified Twitter Accounts. All accounts verified by Twitter have a blue verified badge. The badge is a small white check mark encased inside of a blue circle above their Twitter username: @paulpottsmusic and to the right of their Twitter account name: Paul Potts (blue check mark). This verification check mark also appears directly to the right of a Twitter account name when you do a Twitter username search within Twitter. See an example of a verified account at this link: https://support.twitter.com/articles/119135-faqs-about-verified-accounts. If the blue verified badge appears any where else on a Twitter account it is not legitimate.
Many well-known incorporated businesses such as Microsoft and Google have verified Twitter badges as do many famous people. Twitter decides who gets verified and you cannot request verification but their verification of well-know accounts does help when deciding who to follow.
(9) NEVER login to your own, or another Twitter member's Twitter account, via a Google search link (or by using another search engine) of your Twitter account name or username, for example: pamela parr twitter or @PamelaJParr50. Cyber criminals do make up faked Twitter accounts just as they also make up faked blog's and websites. They hope that you will click on a fake search link of a faked Twitter account and login to your own Twitter account. Once you login using this fake link they can take control of your Twitter account and do such things as steal your password, get your personal information within Twitter, and unfollow or follow people.
This is Twitter's secured (https) URL address: https://twitter.com/. Always login to Twitter by typing their secured URL address in to your browser's www. address bar. Once you do login in to Twitter you should still see their secured address in your browser's URL www. address bar. Click on your Twitter username at the upper left of your Twitter home page and the official secured Twitter address and your secured Twitter username appears, this is mine: https://twitter.com/#!/PamelaJParr50. Click on one of your Twitter follower's username and you see their official Twitter address: https://twitter.com/#!/ScamDetector. Twitter does have its own search bars (fields) for finding other Twitter members to follow but, as I stated above, it is safer to follow them via their blog or website by typing their site's link in to your browser, then click on their 'Follow Me' button.
(10) Is the same Twitter member that you are following the same Twitter member who follows you back? Since some members that you are following may have several accounts (or a spammer may have made-up a faked account(s) of a member) check to see that they are indeed the same follow-back member by checking for your Twitter profile under their 'FOLLOWING' list via their Twitter profile.
Most people who are getting spammed and hacked today have it happen to them while they are on social media sites! My next two articles of this three part TWITTER Tips blog post will cover Twitter spammers and hackers and will be entitled: TWITTER Tips: Spam Twitter Account. Part. 2 of 3., and TWITTER Tips: Hacked Twitter Account. Part 3 of 3. Please read all three of my posts, it is of the utmost importance that you do in order to help you protect yourself while using Twitter and all other social media sites.
NOTE: There are times when I will follow social media spammers (and other types of cyber criminals) because I help catch them.
NOTE: You can also contact me with any of your computer related questions via my cnet.com profile at this link: www.cnet.com/profile/pamjparr/, then just click on: E-mail Pamela j.