How to keep Twitter Worms from Sucking Up and Spitting out your Followers,

Don't tell me your going to bite on that?

Every day I see at least one and sometimes dozens of  Twitter DM hacking worms that drift annoyingly and temptingly across my computer screen.  The worm appears delicious but if I look closely, I can always see the telltale glint of a hook embedded in it’s pathetic little body.

Sometimes the worm has the name of a friend tattooed along it’s side.  At first glance it looks so enticing…..

“Someone is saying terrible things about you”  Link/Hook

Hellooo!  What’s new?  And why would I want to read terrible things?  I already know most of them and 140 Twitter characters isn’t exactly the best format for defending myself against the ones that aren’t true.

“Have you seen this pic/video of you I found. LOL”   Link/Hook

Nope!  And I don’t want to.  I’ve posted enough bad pictures of myself so that I wouldn’t be surprised by anything.  Not gonna bite!

“I can’t believe how this helped me.”  Link/Hook

Neither can I!!!  That’s why I’m not going to click on the miraculous link and discover yet another Viagra ad that will now go to all my followers via ME.

All of these annoying DMs are indications that someone didn’t take time to look for the hook.   They didn’t sniff out the scabby scummy garbage before they bit.  The second your curious mouth closes around the wiggly morsel with a click, a hacker sends the same garbage in a DM to ALL YOUR FOLLOWERS with YOUR name attached to it.  Garbage with your name on it.  That’s just what you want, right?

In the beginning of this insanity I would sent a kind DM to everyone who had bitten, letting them know that they had been hacked and that the hacker was now using them to troll their followers and friends.

I was spending hours doing this.  I’m sixty five. I don’t want to pass away responding to spam.  Now I automatically UNFOLLOW anyone who has been hacked.  Most of these are nice people who have naively taken the bait.   It has gotten so bad that some of my associates have stopped following all but the closest of friends and business acquaintances.

So How do you avoid biting into a bad worm.  

  • Know what a rotten worm looks like.
  • Don’t open any link, picture or message you are not expecting.
  • If there is any doubt, DM your friend and ask if they DM’d you.
  • DON’T resend them the link. I’ve had followers open them twice.
  • Unfollow anyone you don’t know who sends you a DM with a link or offer.
  • If a close friend is hacked let them know right away.
  • If you accidentally get hacked, change your password (Make it a long complicated one) and alert everyone who follows you that you were scammed.  Apologize for the inconvenience and let them know that you are now a safe and smarter worm with no hook.
  • Google “How to recognize twitter scams”  and read the excellent posts that expose the rotten worms.
  • Stop eating worms.

What has been your experience?

If you know of sites or tactics to avoid getting hacked, or what to do if you do get hacked, please add them in your comments.

Oh, BTW have you seen this hilarious video of you! LOL.   This was a test, only a test!  Your already on my site so it is too late. (-;


  1. Great article, and it is nice to see that someone else takes this seriously.
    I’ve come across my fair share of people who have clicked on links, and had their account compromised.
    The best defense against it is being smart. Like you suggested using a strong password helps a lot. Also, if you do get (a worm) don’t bite. If a link looks at all suspicious, or it is unexpected that you’d get the link, don’t click it. If you do feel the need, open a second browser(one that you don’t use to login to your accounts) and open it there first.

  2. UGH! Hate those little devils! Almost every service has a spam reporter and when I get one of those I don’t even answer I just forward it over to the spam people in Twitter, AOL or Facebook. The worst one that I saw was “Need Your Help ASAP”

    Who wouldnt click on that for a friend…shesh.

  3. I received my first worm a few days ago but was aware enough/preoccupied enough not to take the bait. Thanks for a great article–us “newbies” need to know about these things.

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