Today we learned that @BurgerKing had their Twitter account hacked. It just goes to show that you are never too big to fail when it comes to getting hacked. The hacker or hackers tweeted that Burger King had been sold to McDonalds. The hacker or hackers also posted some very unflattering tweets and a picture, that, well… you know what I mean.

So now that this has happened, what’s a business to do? I checked the @BurgerKing Twitter account and it was gone for a little while. I further noticed that even Anonymous put their 2 cents in.

Lots of folks are talking on Twitter about this hack. Looks like it’s time for damage control. What would you do if it was your business?

First things first. Let’s talk about trying not to get into this trouble in the first place. I want to talk about creating good passwords and keeping them safe. This is your first line of defense to prevent you and your business from being hacked. This is not 100% bullet-proof. If you spit into a hacker’s cereal bowl and get them real made, I think you might be in trouble. It’s personal then.

So what can we do to create passwords that at least will make a hacker’s work a little more interesting? Here’s a few thoughts on this:

  • Generate strong passwords – use the Microsoft Password Checker website to see how your passwords stack up. Remember that a strong password will be composed of an upper case letter, a lower case letter, a number and a character sign. Some programs will generate strong passwords for you.
  • Use a different password for each site. Don’t use the same password over again on another site. Don’t be lazy with your passwords. If you get careless, it will bite you right on the “butt”.
  • Don’t use any personal information in your passwords; like the name of your dog for example.
  • Use a password keeper to store all your passwords. Then you will only have to memorize one password. You might consider using a program like to safely store all your passwords  and logins. This is only one of the many options available to you. You can use LastPass for all your laptops and mobile devices. You have no excuse now to have only one password.

So what are some of the “don’ts” when it comes to passwords?

  • Don’t email a password. Email is not secure. If you ever get an a password emailed to you for any reason, change that password as fast as possible.
  • Don’t share passwords needlessly. Be careful who you share your passwords with. Not every employee in your business needs to know the passwords. Make them available on a need to know basis.
  • Don’t be slow to change a password for a social network that has been hacked. Once you find out, change your password immediately.
  • Don’t reuse a password. Always create new passwords. Keep the bad guys guessing.
  • Don’t write your passwords on a piece of paper and leave that paper right beside your computer. Keep it in a secure location.

As a business, you need to take passwords seriously and be diligent to keep them safe. I bet Burger King wishes they were more careful with their Twitter password. More thoughts to come in the days ahead. Be safe out there folks 🙂