12 Most Valuable Lessons Learned from a Twitter Invader

12 Most Valuable Lessons Learned from a Twitter Invader

Earlier this week my suspicions were confirmed. A former assistant of mine who was given permission to access my Hootsuite account as a Pro Team Member, continued to have full access to my Twitter account on the Hootsuite mobile application, even though team permission was removed. I believe we should always learn from life experiences. Here is what my Twitter Invader taught me.

1. Up your tech game

I will admit, I am very right brained and therefore excel in creativity and not technical and spatial skills. Issues with technology are the one thing that gets past my Diva Shield. Unfortunately, in this case by allowing my lack of love for the technical side of Social Media, my Diva Shield was unable to protect me from the Twitter Invader.

2. Take responsibility for your own online security

By avoiding the technical side of Social Media, I was also diminishing the importance of security settings, passwords and all issues surrounding the protection of my work. Big mistake. We should ALL use more secure passwords and change them frequently as well as regularly disconnect Twitter accounts from all sources on a regular basis. (more about this later)

3. Be aware that many social sites do not fully disclose

In my situation, I was led to believe that by removing a Hootsuite team member, their access would be denied. What I was not aware of was that the mobile application seems to reset only when the security token is removed via your Twitter application page on Twitter’s main site. For over three months, I had no idea that my Twitter Invader was reading my dm’s, sharing them with others, un-following many of my followers and who knows what else. Had the site simply stated that the security token be removed, I would have done so. I will disclose that Hootsuite denies that this is an issue. However, many top tech followers of mine believe there is a coding issue and a security breech. What do I know for sure? My Hootsuite phone application did not reset when I repeatedly changed all passwords for Twitter and Hootsuite. However, when I removed the security token from my Twitter page, I received a new message on my phone “Token invalid.”  This tells to me that removing the token is the only way to shut down former team members from mobile access on Hootsuite.

4. Be aware of who has access to your twitter account

All applications we sync to our Twitter accounts can access information just as we can as the “owner” of the account. This means they may send tweets as you, follow and unfollow people, edit lists etc. Most sites will say “We will never access your dm’s or send tweets without your permission” that makes us feel secure. Read it again. They say that they will not access your dm’s.  What they do not say is that they can and have full access to use your account. I am not saying this will happen. I am saying that it can.  I recommend that you go to your Twitter account now.  Under settings, go to applications and you will be likely amazed at just how many programs you have given permission to access your account. Do a clean sweep, then change your passwords and start over on a regular basis. It only takes a few seconds to reconnect with the applications you may use regularly. I further recommend that you visit  www.unsubscribe.com immediately. This site will provide you with information as to what sites you linked all your Social Media accounts with, not just Twitter. When I did this, I was simply stunned at the access that I have freely given to so many online applications and websites.

5. Remember that there is no guaranteed privacy online

I speak to my children about this on a regular basis. However, I seem to forget it myself. Never assume your dm’s are private. Ever. Remember, all of the applications alone may read them if they wish. In addition, there are hackers and unknown sources that may access your account as well. Don’t send passwords or intellectual property you consider private.

6. Step out of my need to be altruistic and hire team members who have both personal and professional recommendations

As a successful businesswoman and entrepreneur, I must embrace what that really means. Most businesses would never contract services from a provider without recommendations and a work history of successful performance. My need to help others embrace their magnificence must sadly stay within the confines of my coaching business and not to those whom I contract services with. Those with significant emotional issues and who need my coaching should be clients not team members. We must set standards and guidelines for whom we with partner in business. This is especially true when your only exposure to potential partners and team members is via Social Media platforms. Many who talk the talk do not walk the walk. In fact, if we do our research and due diligence, looking deeper will often show us a great deal. Look at the person’s online history and monitor their tweets for a week. Do you see bitterness, hostility, negativity and abrasive statements? Keep in mind that you are who you tweet with and your brand is as well. Even if you receive glowing recommendations, you should still monitor and be aware that significant emotional issues such as narcissism, impulsivity, rage, anger and personality disorders may be present. I must simply ask myself and so should many of us, “Is that person a potential client or a partner?” For me, this has been eye opening for certain and my process for bringing others into my business has shifted dramatically.

7. Remember that trust is a little word with immeasurable value

In trusting someone who needed a chance, I received a reminder of just how valuable trust is and how destructive it can be when given as a gift to someone who neglects it.

Most dictionaries define the word trust as the firm reliance on the integrity, ability, or character of a person. When we trust someone, we often feel that we can share unconditionally without the fear of exposure or negative consequence. When trust is given to freely, the burn is very bad. Why then do some of us trust so easily?

As active members engaging in Social Media, we are often much more willing to be social then the general population. Compared to many we know, we find that we are easily able to connect with others and are gifted with eloquence. Most influencers on Social Media simply know how to work a room and work it well. The downside to this gift of eloquence and un-paralleled social skills is that many high level engagers on Social Media also give their trust to many and do so far too quickly. Remember to set standards for both yourself and your brand. Trust must be something we give only after it is earned via respect, loyalty and friendship.

8. Remember that Social Media is real life

When we engage with others online and form connections, we are experiencing this in real life. Many attempt to separate offline relationships by calling them IRL or In Real Life connections. Think about how you may alter your Social Media relationships if you set the same standards for forming offline relationships as you do online. Offline, we let relationships grow at a slower speed and pace. We never push sales or trust as quickly as many do with relationships on Social Media. Remember to provide  and expect the same value, respect and honesty online that you do off. Had I done so, the Twitter Invader would have never had my trust, respect or friendship. Nor, would I ever have contracted services with this individual.

9. Do as you say and practice what you teach

I often speak to the importance of protecting oneself from toxic relationships. Toxic relationships are ones which drain you of your energy and provide no positive value in your life. I can speak to this for hours, so let me simply state that it  is important to monitor your relationships and avoid toxic ones at all cost.

Surround yourself instead with those who lift you up, support you, encourage you and provide value to your life. I recall the day I looked at a post I had submitted to an online magazine in regard to this very issue. In that moment,  I realized my current Twitter Invader was falling into each bullet point meant to define the toxic relationship. It’s difficult to admit, but I in no way practiced what I preached in my own life. If I had, I would have separated from the relationship prior to damage occurring to my brand and myself. Lesson Learned.

10. Believe this: When your soul whispers you must listen

Intuition is a very valuable gift and one many of us do not embrace. I have learned to listen very quietly when my soul whispers. If we do this, we often find that we really already know the answers to many questions we have. Maya Angelou says it so clearly, ”When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time.”  Think about it. When someone does something that makes you feel uncomfortable and out of alignment with who you are, what do you do? Do you pay attention? Do you give it thought? Or, do you do what I did with the Twitter Invader? In my case, I saw clear actions that made me uncomfortable. What I did wrong was make excuses for this person and felt sorry for him. You see, I believed in this individual’s ability and felt if I could help build his self worth, his brilliance would shine. What I should have done, was observe and give credit to that initial whisper…something is not right. I am not saying to judge others. I am saying to be smart and not enable poor behavior as I did in this case. I was clearly shown who this person was and I did not listen when my soul whispered to me.

11. Believe that a negative experience creates a teachable moment

I am passionate about becoming better from all situations and never bitter. I am not angry with the Twitter Invader, nor am I his victim. I opened my life emotionally to this situation and I opened my business to a serious security breech. I take full responsibility for my actions and lack of due diligence when bringing a stranger into my life. From this experience, I hope to educate, teach and inspire all of us to move forward with more information and empowerment. Remember, we are never in control of the actions of others. We are however, in control of our reactions.

12. I learned just how brilliant my nest of fabulous on Twitter really is

After taking this experience and creating a teachable moment in my weekly chat #smmanners, I received many reminders from my community and followers that
speak to this 12th most valuable lesson learned from my Twitter Invader. I am valued, I am loved and I am respected. Each day I am surrounded with such
brilliance on twitter that I often feel I should put on my favorite sunglasses. I have the most amazing friends and words alone simply cannot express my
gratitude. I am often in awe as I read positive messages sent to me and the building of relationships taking place. My nest is filled with magnificence and that is one thing the Twitter Invader will never be able to change. You see, love me, leave me, follow me or unfollow….the law of attraction is at work in our lives and in our nests. If you are positive and engaging, you will simply attract the same individuals needed to create your own nest of fabulous. When toxic sneaks in, or the Twitter Invader finds you, know this for sure; the brilliance from a nest of fabulous will either bring out the best in all who have joined you. Or the those uncomfortable with your energy will leave.

Good-bye Twitter Invader, I am swooping back into my nest of fabulous. You are officially tossed from my nest.

What are your thoughts about passwords and social media privacy? Please share your thoughts with me.

Photo credit some rights reserved by Darwin Bell via creative commons.

Dabney Porte


Often called “Ms. Manners of the Social Media Community” Dabney Porte specializes in how to communicate with customers on all social media platforms. There is much uncertainty in the business world in regard to the social norms within social network communities. Dabney removes the guesswork, allowing you to build your brand & online influence. In addition to the properties linked above, you can find Dabney at http://www.socialmediagirlfriends.com/

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