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The Resource Center Identity Theft & Protection | article

Beware of Spyware on Twitter That Could Lead to Identity Theft

As anyone who frequently uses Twitter knows, users can send direct messages (DMs) to followers, but not the other way around. While this has been a frustrating restriction for many, having these restrictions in place has helped users retain at least a certain level of protection in a situation that could leave them overexposed, even potentially facing theft of identity.

However, back in October 2013, news came out that the company would give Twitter users the option to allow individuals to DM them without actually being followers. The process was rolled out in a trial setting, only allowing a select number of accounts to be able to turn this option on, but in the span of just a couple weeks, those who had been given the option to receive messages from non-followers saw this feature turned off.

Many at first thought it may have just been a trial before a big roll out later in the year, especially after the following statement from the company:

“A common thread across recent releases has been experimentation. We’ve tested various features with small groups of our 200 million users before determining what we'll release. These tests are essential to delivering the best possible user experience.”

However, others on the internet believe that this program was flawed from the get-go, as opening up a free-for-all in terms of messaging could potentially need greater identity theft protection, especially in such a public platform.