Twitter Tip TuesdayTwitter Tip Tuesday is a weekly blog series from Sprout Social Insights.

Every Tuesday we’ll focus on just one (1) Twitter Tip and show you how to integrate it into your social media strategy.

Today’s Twitter Tip: Change your Password

When was the last time you changed your Twitter password? If you don’t remember, then it’s probably time for a change. Changing a password may not seem as sexy as hosting a Tweetup or even creating a Twitter List but it can be just as important to your overall Twitter success.

If you’re a regular Twitter user, you know that there’s a lot of spam — thinly, or sometimes not so thinly veiled solicitations to buy products, increase Twitter followers, etc. While most people can tell a spam link from a legitimate one, it becomes harder to make that determination when you get a link from a trusted source that turns out to be bogus.

This is known as a “hacked account” — tweets that are sent out under a person’s Twitter handle while the person is completely unaware that it’s happening. Hacked accounts appear to be on the rise.

Recently on Twitter there was a wave of tweets from people all over the world complaining about receiving spam from trusted friends. At best, this was an annoying inconvenience but in some cases, people actually unfollowed or blocked senders if it wasn’t obvious the account had been hacked. This has caused a lot of ill will and ruined otherwise positive relationships between thousands of people on Twitter.

Though it’s not a guarantee your account won’t be hacked, periodically changing your Twitter password is a good way to keep the hackers at bay. If they can’t hack your password, they can’t hack your account!

How to Change Your Password

To change your Twitter password, login to Twitter and click the small triangle beside your profile name in the top right hand corner of your screen. From the drop down menu click “Settings” then click the Password tab.

How to Change your Twitter Password

You’ll be prompted to enter your current password, your new password and to verify your new password. Click the blue “Change” button once you’ve filled in all the fields. If you’ve forgotten your password, click the “Forgot your password?” link to have your password reset.

Twitter Password Settings

Twitter advises you to be tricky when choosing a new password. It recommends that your password should be at least 6 characters long and preferably not a common name or a word you would find in the dictionary.

Ideally your password should contain a mix of upper and lower case alpha-numeric characters. When you type your new password, Twitter will advise you whether the password you’ve chosen is “Weak”, “Good” or “Strong”. Obviously, strong is best.

Finally, if you use third-party applications to access your Twitter account, you may need to re-authenticate — or login again using your new password — in order for these applications to work. It’s a small price to pay for the increased security of your account.

Change is Good

Although this tip involves changing your Twitter password, it’s not a bad idea to change the passwords of your other social media accounts from time to time. Hackers are becoming more and more sophisticated in their approach, like using status updates from one social network to determine the password of a completely different account. Decrease the likelihood of having your accounts hacked and change your passwords today!