Twitter is set to introduce a new ‘two-factor authentication’ system to combat the increasing number of accounts being hacked on the popular social media platform.

A number of high-profile accounts have fallen foul to hackers recently and it is hoped the new mobile phone verification method will put this to a stop.

The optional two tier system will work by the use of a password as per usual and then a code being sent to account holders mobile phone, much like the systems some online banking sites use. As an alternative to phone verification, Twitter users can instead opt to receive an email.

Confirming the news on the company blog, Jim O’Leary of  Twitter’s product security team, said: “Today we’re introducing a new security feature to better protect your Twitter account: login verification.”

While some of the more profile Twitter account hijackings have been done with a hint of humour, Burger King’s Twitter feed being hacked and brand images being replaced with fastfood rival McDonald’s for example, others have gone beyond merely throwing a hurdle in front of a firm’s social media marketing campaign into much more serious issues.

In April for example, the Associated Press – one of the largest news-gathering organisations in the world – had its Twitter account hacked by a body called the The Syrian Electronic Army. The group then used the account to send out a hoax tweet claiming the White House had been attacked and President Obama injured.

Understanding there is still always a risk of accounts being hacked, on the Twitter blog, Jim O’Leary added: “Of course, 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.”

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Martin Boonham is an online copywriter for ClickThrough Marketing, he has worked there since October 2012. He has a Masters in Print Journalism from Nottingham Trent University, where he also gained his NCTJ qualification at the same time; achieving qualifications in subbing, shorthand and media law.