5 tips to make the most of Twitter as a pentester or bug bounty hunter

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Hi, if you ask any experienced bug hunter or pentester, they’ll tell you that Twitter is one of their main sources of information & learning resources.

But keeping up with all the tweets, tips, tools and links shared there is not an easy task. It requires a bit of organization.

The following 5 features combined together will help you stay up to date without feeling overwhelmed. They’ll also end your search for old tweets and the need to scroll your bookmarks endlessly to find something saved before.

Twitter lists

This is the most obvious one that you may be already using. Lists allow you to follow a selection of people. You can create several ones for different topics (“bug bounty”, “personal”, “pentest”, “red team”, “politics”, etc).
Each one will present a timeline of tweets created or retweeted only by people that you added to it.

This way, you don’t have to restrict yourself to following few people. You can literally follow everyone on Twitter without going crazy. Leveraging lists will allow you to separate the flows of information by topic of interest.

Now, here is how to work with lists:

  1. Click on your profile picture on the top right, then on “Lists” lists-1.png
  2. You can see the existing lists in the “Subscribed to” tab, and add a new one by clicking on “Create new list” lists-2.png
  3. Specify the list’s name, description and its type (private or public) lists-3.png
  4. When you’re on someone’s profile, and you want to add them to an existing list, click on the 3 vertical dots then “Add or remove from lists” and choose which list: lists-4.png lists-5.png

Twitter Bookmarks

Many people are using the “Bookmarks” and “Like” functions to save interesting tweets. I used to do that in an unorganized fashion and the bookmarks list got so huge that I never looked back at it. I only saved items and liked them without ever checking them out again.

Since then, I’ve found a better way to use them:

  • Use likes only for what they’re made for: liking good tweets, not to save them
  • Use bookmarks to save tweets until I check them out at the end of the week. Valuable ones are either stored in Tweetdeck collections (see below) or go to The 5 Hacking Newsletter. I can also extract the information and add it to my personal knowledge base. When I do this at the end of the week, I empty the Bookmarks.

This method ensures that I really check out each tweet saved while scrolling Twitter, and the Bookmarks list never gets too big.

Accessing bookmarks on PC

Bookmarks are only accessible on the mobile version of Twitter. This can be problematic when you want to process them on your PC.

The solution is simply to use Twitter’s mobile site on your PC.

  1. Go to https://mobile.twitter.com/i/bookmarks and a “Bookmarks” button magically appears in the menu, while it doesn’t exist on the PC user interface: bookmarks-5.png
  2. To bookmark a tweet, click on this little arrow: bookmarks-1.png
  3. Then click on “Add Tweet to Bookmarks”: bookmarks-2.png
  4. You can access your bookmarks by clicking on your profile picture: bookmarks-3.png
  5. Then “Bookmarks”: bookmarks-4.png

Twitter Notifications

Twitter automatically notifies you about new tweets and highlights from your timelines. But it is Twitter’s internal algorithm that chooses what to notify you about.

If you are doing bug bounty for example, you want to know everything published by your target company as soon as it is shared. You can do that by activating notifications for that particular user.

You’ll then receive a notification on your mobile app every time the user shares something. This is in addition to the default “generic” notifications.

To turn on mobile notification for a user, open their profile, click on the 3 vertical dots then “Turn on mobile notifications”:

notifications-1.png

Tweetdeck

Tweetdeck is a great user interface for managing your Twitter account. It presents all your information condensed on a single page which is updated in real-time.

Here is what it looks like: tweetdeck-1.png

What’s great compared to the https://twitter.com is that you can organize information any way you want by playing with the columns. If you click on “Add column”, you can add and display a lot of things like you lists, messages, notifications, searches, etc.

tweetdeck-2.png tweetdeck-3.png

Also, you can search your Tweetdack page with ctrl + f. It’ll look at all the columns, which helps if you don’t remember where you saved a tweet.

This has been a huge help to organize tweets that I like and share them with you every week (via the newsletter). It also helps to monitor different search keywords.

Tweetdeck Collections

Collections is how I store tweets and share them on The 5 Hacking Newsletter. Here is how to create one:

  1. Click on “Add column” and choose “Collection”, then “Create collection”: tweetdeck-2.png collections-2.png
  2. Enter the Collection’s title & description: collections-3.png
  3. Everytime you see a Tweet that you like and want to save to this collection, copy its URL: collections-4.png
  4. And paste it to the field at the bootom of the column: collections-5.png

That’s all hackers! I hope you learned something from these tips. If you did, please share them so that your friends can benefit from them too.

And let me know if you have any comments, requests for tutorials, questions, etc.

See you next time!


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