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First there was email spam and now Twitter spam

Remember the days when spam email really got on your nerves? Thankfully the spam filter soon came to the rescue.  With solutions like profilter, a hosted anti-spam service blocking unsolicited junk email, your mailbox became more manageable again.

With an annual average of 89.1% of all email being spam this became a ‘must-have’ tool in the combat against malware; so much so all workstations’ and servers’ basic protection consisted of a good anti-virus application and either an installed or hosted anti-spam solution.

More recently social media sites like Twitter have seen huge increases in their user subscriptions; going from 75 million users in 2009 to an incredible 175 million users in 2010. With such a huge increase in user accounts it meant that ‘tweet spam’ was next the evolutionary step for spammers.

Twitter is a great way to interact with others and find useful information, however its value can be easily diminished by spam accounts.  Of course the spammers on Twitter often attempt to make their accounts appear to be run by an actual human but in reality their tweeting is automated adding very little value to anyone’s twitter feed.

So let’s look at a couple more applications to add to your existing security and protection tool box.

TwitCleaner

Twit Cleaner (http://thetwitcleaner.com) looks at the people you are following and generates a detailed report on whether or not they might be spam accounts. The detail report is broken down into several categories starting with ‘Potentially Dodgy Behaviour’, accounts with tweets only containing links, accounts with little activity and accounts with no activity in the last month.

Although the results are technically accurate it is still left to the user to decide if the account is in fact a spam account and to unfollow. 

TwitBlock

While Twit Cleaner looks at the people you follow Twit Block (http://twitblock.org) scans your followers. The scan can take longer than TwitCleaner but its dependant on the number of followers you have.

Twit Cleaner works in a similar way to an email spam filter by assigning a numerical score to each follower ranking them highest likelihood to lowest.  From this report you can see how many other Twitter users have decided to block those accounts and reported them as spammers.

As with Twit Cleaner the responsibility of unfollowing and/or blocking a user is yours to make from the report it generates.

Summary

Most users will likely want to use TwitCleaner and TwitBlock in combination. Since one covers followers and the other covers people you’re following, they complement each other well, and their strengths and weaknesses balance each other out.

Definitely two very useful tools to use alongside your email spam filter and anti-virus protection.

 

About Prolateral

Prolateral Consulting is in business to put your organisation back in control of your own Information Technology, specialising in information and messaging security, computer forensic services, and disaster recovery planning.

Contact Info

Prolateral Consulting Ltd
Luton, Bedfordshire, UK
Tel : +44 (0) 8450 763760
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