Great news: Twitter is finally stepping up its efforts to protect users against spam and phishing attacks. The company has announced today on its blog that from now on, all links submitted to Twitter will be routed through a service that detects bad links and prevents their spreading.
For now, the service will focus on Direct Messages and on emails announcing direct messages, since that’s where most of the phishing attacks have been taking place.
Personally, I never ever click a link in a Twitter direct message – even if the message is from a trusted friend, since you never know if the account has been hacked. I tell friends that the best way to reach me and to send me material is through email and not via Twitter DMs. I’ve seen many Twitter accounts who state in their bio that they don’t respond to direct messages – I’m sure many people have simply disabled direct messages notices and want absolutely nothing to do with those.
I wonder if this recent development will change things and make direct messages useful again, or if people have become so weary of them that it’s a lost battle. Regardless, I’m happy to see Twitter taking the phishing issue seriously and protecting their users against it.