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Twitter imposes tighter account security for politicians ahead of 2020 vote

With the presidential election fast approaching, Twitter is tightening account security for prominent, election-related Twitter accounts in the U.S.

These accounts include those belonging to members of the U.S. Congress, U.S. governors, secretaries of state, political parties, and candidates with Twitter Election Labels running for the U.S. House, U.S. Senate, or governor, as well as those linked to major U.S. news outlets and political journalists. President Donald Trump’s account is believed to already have extra safeguards in place to protect it from hackers.

The move comes just a couple of months after a number of politicians such as Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden and former President Barack Obama had their Twitter accounts targeted in a Bitcoin scam that exploited flawed security procedures.

In a message posted on Thursday, September 17, Twitter said it is contacting specific account holders via an in-app notification to outline its revamped approach to security.

The measures include insisting that accounts use a strong password. “Accounts with a weak password will be required to update and use a stronger password the next time they log in,” the company said.

Twitter will also enable password reset protection for accounts by default. This setting is designed to prevent unauthorized password changes by requiring an account holder to confirm their email address or phone number in order to initiate a password reset.

Account holders will also be strongly encouraged to enable two-factor authentication, an additional layer of security designed to protect accounts from unauthorized logins.

In the coming weeks, Twitter said it will also add other proactive internal security safeguards for certain accounts.

These will include more sophisticated detection methodss and alerts to help both the company and account holders respond more quickly to suspicious activity. To stop malicious account takeover attempts, stronger login defenses will also be introduced, as well as an improved account recovery support system so that security issues can be quickly resolved.

“Implementing these security measures is a critical preventative step, and you will continue to see us introduce new protections and features to help safeguard accounts on Twitter,” the company said.

In another election-related move, Twitter said last week that it would remove any tweets from its platform that it believes are intended to undermine the November 3 vote.

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