The White House tightened up President Trump's lax social media security Thursday shortly after it was revealed that Trump’s official Twitter account, @POTUS, was linked to a personal Gmail account.
The Gmail link could have allowed any hacker with access to the Gmail account to reset the Twitter password and gain control of the influential account.
A request to reset the password for the account earlier on Thursday revealed that Trump’s recovery email was an address on Google’s widely used email service. A TV Guide editor was the first to attempt the password reset. The Hill confirmed that the password could be reset through Gmail.
As the hacks of Democratic Party-affiliated email accounts allegedly perpetrated by Russian hackers recently revealed, personal accounts can be vulnerable to illicit access. Theoretically, a hacker could use the Gmail account to wrest control of the @POTUS handle for mischief or worse — a BuzzFeed story on Trump's personal Twitter, which is separate from the @POTUS handle, called it "the most powerful publication in the world."
The Gmail account is believed to belong to White House director of social media Dan Scavino. But shortly after the Gmail revelations went viral, another attempt to reset the password showed that the account’s email preferences had been changed to what appears to be two government email addresses.
CNN reported last week that Twitter accounts for the president, first lady and vice president had not activated a basic security feature that requires users to type in their email address or phone number. As of Thursday, The Hill found that only the @VP account had turned on that feature.