Saturday, 23 March 2013

If Your Traffic Has Dropped Off, Try Changing Your Password!

It's a while since I wrote anything here, thanks to pressure of work followed by a week away (very pleasant) and then a nasty virus (not so pleasant!).  However, something has happened in the past couple of weeks that may possibly be relevant to other people, so I thought I'd share it.

I do a fair amount of my list building through Twitter.  Anyone who follows me receives an direct message to say thank you and giving a link which will give access to some free ebooks and allow them to sign up for my weekly newsletter.

Over the past two weeks or so I have noticed that the sign ups I've been getting via Twitter have been considerably reduced from their normal level.  And, at the same time (and obviously related) I have acquired far fewer new followers than I would normally expect.  I had no idea what could be causing this until someone sent me a tweet to tell me that he'd received a spammy direct message from me and suggesting I check my apps and change my password.

I immediately followed his suggestions - and now, after a couple of days, the numbers of new followers and sign-ups to my mailing list seem to be returning to their previous levels.  It had been two months since I'd changed my passwords and I think that in future I'll be changing them more frequently.  But I always thought I'd know if someone was sending spam from my account because on my Hootsuite dashboard I have a stream showing my outgoing direct messages.  However, nothing appeared there, so it seems that there's no way of knowing that this has happened unless someone is kind enough to tell you.

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