McDonald’s official Twitter account was recently hacked and a critical tweet was posted against President Trump calling him, “a disgusting excuse of a President,” and then adding he has, “tiny hands.” McDonald’s has two accounts with Twitter, one is its corporate account on which the tweet was posted that has 151,000 followers. The other account is a consumer account with as many as 3.39 million followers.


The tweet was deleted after 20 minutes, and McDonald’s issued a brief apology for the tweet in a statement that said the account had been, “hacked by an external source,” and that they “took swift action to secure it.” How secure do they have the power to make it be? That is what McDonald’s will have to ask themselves in this ever-growing digital age.  


Do you know how to protect your social media accounts?

McDonald’s issued a press release dated March 1, 2017 advising of their New Global Growth Plan stating they will be, “Enhancing digital capabilities and the use of technology to dramatically elevate the customer experience.” The release issued just days before they were hacked. Hopefully, that plan will also include a more robust IT department that can keep an eye on their cyber safety and security.


In addition to McDonald’s, there were hundreds of other accounts that were hacked including the accounts of Justin Bieber, and Amnesty International’s that were compromised with unauthorized tweets. The incidents call into question the issue of cyber security and governance when it comes to how safe your digital presence can really be. Anyone with a Twitter account should be concerned about their digital safety.


The systems that were put into place in Twitter’s early days of use is cause for concern. Twitter, which was founded in March 2006, has since evolved into a well-rounded digital platform used by millions worldwide. At its inception, however, it relied on third-party hosting tools to make it more user-friendly. Users connected these outside tools to their Twitter accounts to help them find new followers, and re-tweet messages.


Due to Twitter’s growth, these tools are no longer needed today. However, they are still somehow connected to some user’s accounts unless they become aware somehow, usually through unauthorized use, and disable them. Hackers are able to gain access to accounts through the portals of these formerly used tools.


In order to check the safety of your Twitter account for unnecessary tools in use, go to this website and look under “How to protect your account.”  If more users take the initiative by using best practices, along with increased awareness, we can make it that much harder for hackers to win.


How secure do you feel your digital presence is online? Let’s discuss here or on Twitter @lcarterwriter.