Twitter shares tips for users in conflict zones amid Ukraine crisis

24 Feb 2022

Image: © ltyuan/Stock.adobe.com

Twitter’s advice includes how to tell if your account is compromised, how to protect personal info and details on tweet location data.

Twitter has issued advice to people using its services in conflict zones and other high-risk areas, following Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine.

The social media platform posted a Twitter thread linking to multiple pages from its help centre, detailing ways users can help control their account and digital information.

Future Human

While the world watches the invasion unfold, there have also been reports of various cyberattacks hitting Ukrainian computers and websites over the past two days. This is suspected to be a form of hybrid warfare by Russia.

The Twitter thread details a variety of tips such as how to make a strong password, ways to link emails and phone numbers to change a password, instructions on setting up two-factor authentication and ways to tell if your account has been compromised.

The advice also includes how to delete a Twitter account, how to change tweets from public to private, ways to get back into your account if it has been hacked, ways to restore features and how to disable location settings on mobile devices.

“Just like you might not want to tweet your home address, be cautious when tweeting from locations that you don’t want others to see,” Twitter said. “If you enabled tweet location in the past and want to disable it (or) remove location info from your previous tweets, you can.

“Just know deleting it on Twitter won’t guarantee it’ll be removed from third-party apps or external search results,” the company added.

The first half of the thread is in English, with the information repeated further down in Ukrainian.

Ukraine cyberattacks

Multiple sources have said that Ukraine was the victim of a wave of cyberattacks yesterday (23 February), including targeted distributed denial-of-service (DDOS) attacks on Ukrainian government websites and a new malware found on hundreds of computers.

DDOS attacks are known to have been used by Russia in the past as part of hybrid warfare tactics during incursions in Georgia in 2008 and Crimea in 2014.

These incidents come following cyberattacks on Ukraine last month. Even though some Ukrainian websites have seen a swifter recovery this time around, likely due to increased preparedness, the cyberattack incident “is ongoing, with latency and outages continuing at the security service”, a researcher told BBC News.

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Leigh Mc Gowran is a journalist with Silicon Republic

editorial@siliconrepublic.com