Twitter improves security for shared accounts

TweetDeck users can give others access to an account without providing the account password

If you saw strange pop-up messages in TweetDeck this morning, you weren’t alone. It wasn’t the work of the Syrian Electronic Army, just some relatively harmless XSS exploitation.

If you saw strange pop-up messages in TweetDeck this morning, you weren’t alone. It wasn’t the work of the Syrian Electronic Army, just some relatively harmless XSS exploitation.

Twitter is giving users what it thinks is a safer way to handle shared access to an account without compromising the login.

Users of TweetDeck, the popular dashboard system for the site, will be able to share access to Twitter accounts without sharing passwords. That adds a useful layer of security for businesses that use Twitter, by eliminating the need to disseminate passwords among employees.

Some high-profile Twitter accounts like those belonging to Newsweek magazine and the U.S. military's Central Command have been hacked in recent months. Shared passwords are an obvious weak point for corporate social media accounts, as they increase the likelihood of unauthorized access.

The new TweetDeck feature, called Teams, lets the person who currently manages the account identify others as contributors or administrators. Those people can access and tweet from the account on TweetDeck, but they don't need the account's password to do so.

The feature is rolling out starting Tuesday on TweetDeck for web, Chrome and Windows, Twitter said.

With the tool, the person who already has access to the Twitter account signs in to TweetDeck using the account's regular credentials. From the navigation bar, the person can type in the Twitter handle of other people to give them access. Both administrators and contributors can tweet from the account and follow and unfollow others, but only administrators can add or remove team members and view the team.

Users who are already sharing their account can change the password and revoke app access if they prefer to use the new feature, Twitter said.

The company is encouraging users to continue using two-factor authentication, which has a code sent to their mobile device upon login, because it acts as yet another check against unauthorized access.

Twitter did not reveal plans for bringing the feature to or Twitter's mobile apps.

Zach Miners covers social networking, search and general technology news for IDG News Service. Follow Zach on Twitter at @zachminers. Zach's e-mail address is

Join the CSO newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags Internet-based applications and servicessecuritysocial networkingtwittersocial mediainternet

More about IDGNewsTweetDeck

Show Comments

Featured Whitepapers

Editor's Recommendations

Solution Centres

Stories by Zach Miners

Latest Videos

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: Will your data protection strategy be enough when disaster strikes?

    Speakers: - Paul O’Connor, Engagement leader - Performance Audit Group, Victorian Auditor-General’s Office (VAGO) - Nigel Phair, Managing Director, Centre for Internet Safety - Joshua Stenhouse, Technical Evangelist, Zerto - Anthony Caruana, CSO MC & Moderator

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: The Human Factor - Your people are your biggest security weakness

    ​Speakers: David Lacey, Researcher and former CISO Royal Mail David Turner - Global Risk Management Expert Mark Guntrip - Group Manager, Email Protection, Proofpoint

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: Current ransomware defences are failing – but machine learning can drive a more proactive solution

    Speakers • Ty Miller, Director, Threat Intelligence • Mark Gregory, Leader, Network Engineering Research Group, RMIT • Jeff Lanza, Retired FBI Agent (USA) • Andy Solterbeck, VP Asia Pacific, Cylance • David Braue, CSO MC/Moderator What to expect: ​Hear from industry experts on the local and global ransomware threat landscape. Explore a new approach to dealing with ransomware using machine-learning techniques and by thinking about the problem in a fundamentally different way. Apply techniques for gathering insight into ransomware behaviour and find out what elements must go into a truly effective ransomware defence. Get a first-hand look at how ransomware actually works in practice, and how machine-learning techniques can pick up on its activities long before your employees do.

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: Get real about metadata to avoid a false sense of security

    Speakers: • Anthony Caruana – CSO MC and moderator • Ian Farquhar, Worldwide Virtual Security Team Lead, Gigamon • John Lindsay, Former CTO, iiNet • Skeeve Stevens, Futurist, Future Sumo • David Vaile - Vice chair of APF, Co-Convenor of the Cyberspace Law And Policy Community, UNSW Law Faculty This webinar covers: - A 101 on metadata - what it is and how to use it - Insight into a typical attack, what happens and what we would find when looking into the metadata - How to collect metadata, use this to detect attacks and get greater insight into how you can use this to protect your organisation - Learn how much raw data and metadata to retain and how long for - Get a reality check on how you're using your metadata and if this is enough to secure your organisation

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: How banking trojans work and how you can stop them

    CSO Webinar: How banking trojans work and how you can stop them Featuring: • John Baird, Director of Global Technology Production, Deutsche Bank • Samantha Macleod, GM Cyber Security, ME Bank • Sherrod DeGrippo, Director of Emerging Threats, Proofpoint (USA)

    Play Video

More videos

Blog Posts

Market Place