Do You Maintain ‘Test’ Accounts on your Social Networks?

If you have been paying any attention on Twitter the last few days you probably saw a bunch of tweets from Twifficiency that looked like this

A picture named M2

Once it started I saw these tweets popping up everywhere, as people ran to find out their score, most people not realizing that they were granting the application access to tweet on their behalf (slightly embarrassing for some, extremely embarrassing if you are a google exec).

This got me thinking, how many of you bother to maintain test accounts?  I do maintain test accounts on some networks, Twitter being among them.  I use them for a number of reasons for example when I first used Twitterfeed and later moved to to integrate my blog with Twitter, I wanted to make sure I didn’t spam the twitter stream, related while I did not fall for  Twifficiency yesterday, there is a new Twitter tool practically every day that looks compelling, if it doesn’t come from a trusted source, I always have a (protected) twitter account with no followers to try it out on.

You can not necessarily have a “test” account on all sites, for example the Facebook Terms of Use could possibly prevent you from maintaining a fake account

Facebook users provide their real names and information, and we need your help to keep it that way. Here are some commitments you make to us relating to registering and maintaining the security of your account: 1.        You will not provide any false personal information on Facebook, or create an account for anyone other than yourself without permission. 2.        You will not create more than one personal profile.

I can’t find anything similar in the Twitter Terms of Service, in fact it is common practice for people to have multiple Twitter accounts, and accounts not in any persons actual name.

E-mail accounts – they are certainly easy enough to come by these days, I have a couple I consider throwaways, I use them to register for new sites that pop up that I am interested in but don’t know and trust.  I have seen too many sites do things like e-mail you your password in clear text, or spam your friends, using accounts and passwords that can not  be connected back and have no contacts, protect me if the site turns out to be a fraud or just poorly designed.

Finally  while we are talking about protecting your online security, how many of you go back and review the services you have granted access to Facebook, Twitter or other accounts? For example readtwit a number of people including myself found the service useful, but it did not last

A picture named M3

I wonder how many people still have rights granted to Readtwit in their twitter accounts A picture named M4

How do you protect your online interests and your followers? These are some of the steps I take to protect mine, in addition to strong passwords that are not the same on every network, and certainly not the same password as I use for my e-mail addresses.

One Response to Do You Maintain ‘Test’ Accounts on your Social Networks?
  1. luis benitez
    August 20, 2010 | 3:47 pm

    Interesting!!! I hadn’t thought about creating test accounts. I figured that if something would tweet-spam on my behalf, I could delete it before too many people would see it (though I’ve noticed that not all apps respond to tweet deletions…i.e. I delete a tweet but it still shows up in Tweetie). I’ll have to think more about this.

    I see that you are using the new Tweet button.. do we need to move to that and leave the tweetmeme button behind?