Twitter giving jitters?

Twitter giving jitters?

Abhijit Rao Is your password ‘123456’ or ‘startrek’ or the word ‘password’ itself? Well, chances are that you may not be able to sign into your Twitter account as the social networking site has banned 370 passwords in order to prevent hackers from hacking the site.

Metrolife speaks to a few youngsters to find out if they feel secure enough sharing their photographs, comments, and in fact, living a virtual life on such sites. 

Abhijit Rao, a user experience designer is quite active on Twitter. “I use Facebook at times too,” he says. “I am aware of this password ban that happened last December,” he says.

What was his first reaction? He laughs, “My first reaction was to see if my password was on the list. But the second reaction was about the type of passwords, that people set for their accounts, which is absolutely crazy.”

He feels the site was right in banning these passwords. “Gone are the days when passwords were used only for emails. These days, most transactions happen online. So with your online identity becoming more important, it’s quite risky to have a simple password,” he says.

Abhijit’s advice to everyone is to have a good password. “Common words can be easily targeted by hackers so I try to keep myself as safe as I can by having a good password.” He adds, “It’s also necessary to keep changing your password at regular intervals and keep track of the sites that you are on. Being alert is the key.”

A regular on Facebook and Orkut, Prasad, a graphic artist feels that Twitter was wrong in banning passwords. “Everyone should have the freedom to choose their passwords. But on the other hand, people should also be careful in what passwords they choose.”

He adds, “It’s better not to set passwords of your name, phone number, birth date or vehicle number.” However, Prasad admits that the security is indeed less on these sites.
“Many strangers know about you. Your friends’ friends know you and you don’t even know them. It’s a strange world out there.”

Sreeja, a communications professional uses Twitter regularly and finds it safer than Orkut and Facebook. “I don’t put up links to pictures or too much of personal information on that site. I just write whatever I feel like,” she says. “It’s a little scary situation, though not very scary. Since the site has gone to the extent of banning passwords, it’s obvious that security needs to be beefed up.”

However, Sreeja also feels that social networking sites are the personal choice of an individual. “When you go on such sites, you are aware that there can be hackers around. So you have to be careful.” Does she feel it’s safer to change passwords or keep a good password which cannot be hacked into? “Yes that’s a common Internet sense,” she signs off.

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