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Twitter Inc.is advising all users to change their passwords, saying it found a bug in its systems that exposed passwords in plain text internally.

Twitter said the security system it uses to encode and safeguard users' passwords is an "industry standard". But it told users to consider changing their Twitter passwords "out of an abundance of caution".

When you type in "password" at the Twitter log-in screen, what Twitter actually gets is that soup of letters and numbers; it compares it with the soup it cooked up and lets you in only if they match. Normally, Twitter's hashing process encrypts passwords by converting them into strings of characters. It caused writing and storage of passwords on an in-house computer log before the scrambling procedure was completed.

In a blog post, Twitter chief technology officer Parag Agrawal gave more information on the "internal bug", and what users should do to keep their accounts secure. However, everything is not lost as if you are threatened by Twitter, there are ways to protect your account. "Even if an attacker compromised Twitter's systems - if the passwords are properly protected, he'd have to reverse the hash, which is a very hard and often impossible process".

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Twitter is prompting users to change their passwords via a pop-up window on the site that explains the nature of the bug and links to their Settings page.

Fortunately, you can change your password from the mobile app or desktop both, the choice is yours.

Another step to ensure the security of your account is to enable login verification. "While this isn't a silver bullet, it certainly makes hacking a user's account much more hard". The company didn't release details about how numerous 330 million active Twitter accounts were affected. We didn't have to, but believe it's the right thing to do. This is the single best action you can take to increase your account security.


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