If you have millions of social networking fans, is it sensible to joke that you have been hacked?
That's the question I'm pondering, after I heard that music producer and DJ Deadmau5 claimed yesterday that his Twitter and Facebook accounts had been hacked by Anonymous.
Sure enough, Deadmau5's Facebook page had been defaced, with his picture altered to show the familiar "V for Vendetta" mask synonymous with the Anonymous collective.
A message posted on the Canadian performer's Facebook page (real name Joel Thomas Zimmerman, pronounced "dead mouse") suggested he had fallen victim to a security issue that many internet users are guilty of - using the same password for multiple accounts.
That seems plausible enough, after all many people are guilty of not just choosing dumb, easy-to-guess passwords but also *re-using* passwords.
If you use the same password in more than one place you are making life so much easier for hackers. Only one of your online services only needs to be compromised for your other accounts to fall victim.
Meanwhile, Deadmau5's Twitter account was also altered, with a changed avatar and messages posted suggesting that it had been compromised.
At the same time, the account was changed to only follow the Anonymous Twitter account @YourAnonNews, which the Deadmau5 account began to retweet.
However, it turned out that Deadmau5's social networking accounts had not been hacked.
— deadmau5 (@deadmau5) April 1, 2014
Funny? I'll leave that for you to decide.
Wise? Almost certainly not. I will almost certainly be called a kill-joy, but when you have over 2.7 million followers on Twitter and almost nine million fans on Facebook I think you should also be responsible in what you post.
Users can often panic that they might have clicked on a dangerous link and tricked into visiting a malicious website when they discover that someone they follow online has been hacked. And when people panic, especially if they are not security-savvy, they can come to the wrong conclusions and make poor decisions.
It's not the first time that Deadmau5 has run into trouble on Twitter, of course. In the middle of last year his girlfriend Kat Von D posted tweets accusing him of having an affair, and calling off their engagement.
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