It’s SO Easy To Find Personal Info On Twitter – So Stop Sharing It!

This recurring series focused on twits – people and businesses that just don’t ‘get’ Twitter. We call it The Twit List. Hopefully you don’t find yourself on it.

We’ve told you how easy it is to make your own Twitter bot and how you can learn to manipulate Twitter’s API for free, but do you know all the wonderful things you can do with this knowledge?

One coder does – and he demonstrates one of them by highlighting how moronic people are on Twitter.

Colin Keigher (@afreak) shares that it’s quite simple to “pull phone numbers, IP addresses, and Blackberry PINs from Twitter.”  

During some down time, Keigher “started to mess with what I already had and decided to make it so it would search for phone numbers. I didn’t anticipate anything at first but then I started to get results.”

After seeing the large volume of results from the script, I decided that I would bear a bot that would respond to people who have been found to be erroneously posting their numbers on Twitter. Oddly it seems that I am the first to go and search for this information openly . . .

And @PhoneNumberTwit was born!

It started sending tweets back to the rocket scientists who posted their numbers publicly on Twitter:

And worked similarly to @NeedADebitCard – which we told you about here, and – which we also told you about here.

But he shut the site down – not because it was hard to do, because it was more trouble than it was worth for someone not looking to commit a crime:

I had decided that I wasn’t sure of the consequences of doing this. Add the fact that I didn’t want my hosting service to have any troubles over this so I opted to not let this service operate any further.

Guess what though? Folks looking to steal your identity aren’t worried about that. So if you’re tweeting personal info, welcome to The Twit List (and probably a few other lists you aren’t aware of)!

(Image from Shutterstock)

@MaryCLong Mary C. Long is Chief Ghost at Digital Media Ghost. She writes about everything online and is published widely, with a focus on privacy concerns, specifically social sabotage.
Publish date: April 19, 2013 © 2020 Adweek, LLC. - All Rights Reserved and NOT FOR REPRINT