Blocking Twitter Spam/Scams
One of the things that has always bothered me about Twitter, is the ability for Bots/Spammers/Scammers to follow you, and mention you in tweets without you having any real control over it. There may be a coming solution.
I first saw this a few days ago via Digital Trends:
“Anti-virus maker BitDefender’s free Safego app for Twitter and Facebook scans your account to see if anyone you follow is a bot, a hijacked account, or is otherwise spreading malicious content. It checks individual tweets to determine the safety of links. And you can input individual accounts if you believe a user may be spreading spam”
Sounded Intriguing. I followed a link provided and arrived at a Read Write Web post about the BitDefender application:
“BitDefender announced its Twitter malware protection service Safego is now an open beta and users can sign up here for the free service. It is similar to the service that they have had for Facebook that we last wrote about here. Once you authorize it to use your Twitter account, it begins to process all your tweets, DMs and embedded links to see what is going on.
The link they provided to their post on Safego for Facebook is HERE.
The link they provided to try the application is HERE.
I have since downloaded the application and have had it scan my account. As of now (+1 hour since being downloaded) there seems to be no malicious content being thrown my way.
I believe that this is an application that could show you right away if your account were/is at risk. However, the real test for me personally, will be to see how it performs in the coming days/weeks. Will it block bots from following me? Will it block bots from mentioning my account in their tweets? This is what I am most concerned about at the moment. In any case, I will either update this post or create a new one to recount my findings.
For those of you curious about the app and want to look at it before you do any downloading of your own, I will post a screenshot below (See it after the jump):
If you click on the image, you can see the layout of the application.
Here are the things I like after about an hour or so of initial use:
1. I can scan my entire account at any time. Maybe a little tedious, but perhaps better safe than sorry. It should be noted though, that I am still figuring out all the functionality here.
2. I had three people whom I do not personally know begin following me today. Towards the middle of the app, a bit to the right, is the ability to scan individual users (even those you are not following back – this is a big plus in my opinion – seems obvious, I know, but we’d be talking about it much more if this weren’t possible). I was able to scan all three of those users – here is where I should add a **Note: I scanned these three users, and was told that they were in fact not bots. I still have small doubts, but it is highly possible that they are just annoying self marketers/”brand-pushers”. Again, time will tell). In any case, even though I had no intention of following them back it was nice to see that they checked out.
3. Lastly (at least for now), for the most part the app layout is intuitive and easy to navigate. I can, at this very basic level so far, understand exactly what I am being shown on the screen and the hope is that as my use progresses, I will be able to make effective/efficient decisions based on what the app is trying to tell me.
So, for you early adopters, BitDefender has a reputable track-record – at least enough so to feel safe upon an initial trial – and for those of you a bit more skeptical, no worries, I will continue to use the app and report on anything of interest.
As always, thanks for reading.