Twitter announces security improvements

Twitter has introduced enhanced user identification processes as part of efforts to boost security

Twitter has introduced enhanced user identification processes to identify suspicious logins as part of efforts to boost security in a post-Snowden and post-Heartbleed era.

The micro-blogging site said the move is aimed at protecting members who reuse the same passwords across multiple sites.

The new system does this by analysing login attempts to accounts by looking at information such as location, device used and login history to identify suspicious behaviour.

“If we identify a login attempt as suspicious, we’ll ask you a simple question about your account – something that only you know – to verify that your account is secure before granting access,” Mollie Vandor, a product manager at Twitter wrote in a blog post.

“We’ll also send you an email to let you know that we’ve detected unusual activity so you can update your password if need be,” she said.

The move is the latest by Twitter to maintain user trust through improved security and privacy measures.

“We will continue to work on bolstering Twitter account security so you can keep enjoying Twitter safely,” Vandor wrote.

US-based technology firms and online service providers have been keen to bolster user trust in the wake of whistleblower Edward Snowden’s revelations of internet surveillance by state intelligence agencies.

Twitter is among the technology firms that have called for greater transparency around US government data requests.

In November 2013, Twitter introduced perfect forward secrecy to prevent spy agencies collecting data on users without the company’s permission.

Twitter has also announced a streamlined password reset process that enables users to choose whether reset details should be sent to their registered email address or phone number.

This allows flexibility in case the phone number has been changed recently, users have limited access to devices or the registered email address is no longer valid.

Twitter said it has also made it easier to reset a lost password on iOS or Android devices and that it has added some customised tips to help users strengthen account security in the future.

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