How Safe Are You When You Use Third Party Services To Post To Twitter?

The one thing about the internet that is different than all of the other mediums out there is the inter connectivity of it all.

The very beginning of the internet was based on interconnectivity – that was the whole purpose of the hyperlink.

It was to allow people that were on one web site to be able to reference to another web site and go there.

Now we have taken that connection a little bit further with the addition of special API’s that allow one web site to use the services of another.

You see it all of the time.

When you go to a web site and you see the Facebook symbol on there you know that it is the like button.

That means that it allows you to “like” the page that you are on so that people who follow you on Facebook will know about that page now.

If they trust you they will then go to that page.

That is good for that page because it leads it to get more traffic.

You can even do the same thing with signing in to web pages.

There are some sites that have a service called openID that will allow you to use a login credential from one of the other web sites that are out there and use it on their site.

This is supposed to lead to people being able to easier gain access to web sites without leaving their credentials everywhere.

With Twitter you are able to do this as well but you are also able to do something else entirely.

You are able to make a post on your twitter account from another web page.

If you are on a page and you see a story that you like, you are then able to create a Twitter post with the URL of the page all without leaving the web page that you are on.

This is all very convenient but the question becomes how safe is a service such as this?

Can you trust it to deliver the tweet without anything going wrong?

the dangers of using 3rd party services on the web

the dangers of using 3rd party services on the web

Sending Tweets From A Third Party

Twitter loves it when you do stuff like this.

When you are using their API from a third party it allows them to spread the influence of their service further and further.

There aren’t that many people who have never heard of Twitter these days but in the past, when it was still a new service, the API is what helped it gain ground on some of the other social media services out there.

While overall the use of the API is safe, there have been several exploits found out in the wild that have taken advantage of holes that were in the system.

When there were holes found Twitter was quick to try and patch them up but that doesn’t mean that new ones didn’t pop up soon after.

When you are dealing with a service that has to send data from one place to another on the web it is too tempting a target for a bad guy hacker to pass up.

They would use the holes that they found to try to intercept the data that you are sending.

In Twitter’s case the interception would either be the credentials that you are sending, otherwise known as your name or password, or they can intercept your actual tweet and instead of sending the link that you think you are sending, you would actually send a link that leads to a piece of malware or spam of some sort.

There are all kinds of dangerous acts that a break in a service like this could lead to.

Not Just Twitter

While I have used Twitter as the main example in this article they are not the only one with the problem.

Any service that uses a similar method of transferring data back and forth from one web site to another is at risk.

This is why, if you have one of these services on your web site, you must keep up to date with any security warnings that might pop up.

You can do that by going to the official developer’s blog of some of the services that you are using.

If you do not keep up then there is a good chance that if something goes wrong on your site then your user base will probably blame you and not the big site such as Twitter or Facebook.

They trust those sites completely for the most part while you are a smaller site and have less to lose in their eyes.

For the most part you should be safe when you are using these services but every now and then there are problems that come up.

Just make sure that you are keeping track of the services and you should be fine.

About Lee Munson

Lee's non-technical background allows him to write about internet security in a clear way that is understandable to both IT professionals and people just like you who need simple answers to your security questions.

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