Twitter brings in extra security

A new optional 'verification' process can be enabled to help users protect their Twitter accounts against hackers.

Following recent high-profile instances of hackers infiltrating Twitter accounts, the social media platform has introduced tighter online security.

In a company blog post, Twitter's head of security Jim O'Leary said a new verification process would "make sure it's really you" whenever signing into your account.

The optional feature involves a security code being sent to the user's mobile phone.

O'Leary wrote on the blog: "You'll need a confirmed email address and a verified phone number. After a quick test to confirm that your phone can receive messages from Twitter, you're ready to go."

However, he urged Twitter users not to forget the basics of online security.

"Even with this new security option turned on, it's still important for you to use a strong password and follow the rest of our advice for keeping your account secure."

The news comes in response to a recent spate of high-profile account hijackings.

In March, hackers took control of several BBC accounts before tweeting a series of bizarre messages. A few weeks earlier, a similar thing had happened to fast food chain Burger King, whose account was surreptitiously rebranded with a McDonald's logo.

A more sinister example occurred last month when a hijacked account of the Associated Press - one of the world's most trusted news organisations - tweeted fake reports of the US president being injured in an explosion at the White House.

Users can activate the verification system in their Twitter security settings.

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