As we enter the new year, it is time to start thinking about how to protect your business against the latest threats. A major part of doing so involves securing your social media channels against hackers and cybercriminals that can cause major havoc. The good news is that there are many ways you can protect your accounts and continue to implement your social media strategy without fear of a breach. Today, we will speak about five ways to protect your interests.
1. Understand The Risks
The first step is to be aware of the risks. The fact is that what you do and say on social media can make or break your company. More often than not, these platforms present a great way to spread the message of your company, products, and sales specials to the millions of people in your target demographic. However, in the wrong hands, your social media can cause major issues.
One of the more common issues is that a criminal or past employee can gain access to your social media and use it to spread false messages to the public. Since it is from your account, people will believe that these negative messages are coming from you, and if you upset enough customers, it can be difficult for your company to repair your reputation.
Criminals can also use your platform to push scams that could hurt the public. Over the last year, there has been an increase in scams on LinkedIn, where cybercriminals are hacking in and using corporate social media accounts to create fake job listings. Then, they send out links to potential customers that are really phishing scams. All of these scenarios can be very dangerous for your company, so it is important that you stay protected.
2. Implement A Social Media Policy
Once you understand the risks, you need to make a fleshed-out social media policy that dictates your corporate message, what employees are allowed to say on your social media, and the specific personnel that is able to post on your behalf. This policy should inform each member of the social media team that they are responsible for what they post. It is also a wise idea to have an oversight team that can check the posts from time to time to ensure that they are in compliance.
3. Keep Track Of Who Has Access
For your social media to be truly secure, your policy must state which specific employees have access and who is allowed to post. This should be a small team that you can trust, and the members will typically come from the marketing team. Their credentials should be updated every few months, so you are always staying one step ahead of the hackers. If someone on that team leaves the company, then their access should immediately be blocked so they cannot access the system after the fact.
4. Create A Strong Password
The next most important step is to secure all of your social media accounts with their own unique password. Every year, people around the globe celebrate World Password Day, and among other things, it is a reminder about the importance of using complex passwords that include a combination of letters, numbers, and special characters. It is wise to take that advice. Also, avoid including obvious words like the name of the company or a product you produce, or a hacker will have no problem guessing it and gaining access.
The best way to create a foolproof password is to use a generator that will create a completely random string of characters that can be easily encrypted so hackers can’t guess or read it. Since more protection is always better, it is also a good idea to pair your password with a form of two-factor authentication, which requires employees to also add a unique code that is sent to their phone or a biometric scan of an eye or thumb that cannot be duplicated.
5. Take The Steps To Prevent An Account Takeover
A form of cybercrime that is gaining steam is an account takeover. This is when a hacker is able to gain access to one of your accounts and use it for malicious purposes. A criminal may hack in and start sending out messages on your behalf, or they might use that social media account as an access point. Once they are in your system, they can also steal your corporate data and billing information and make fraudulent purchases or cause havoc for your customers.
In order to avoid an account takeover, you must continue to use complex passwords. On top of that, it is important to educate your team on the danger of phishing scams. If a hacker is able to send a message to someone on your team and convince them that they are a member of IT or management and that employee hands over their password, then the hacker simply has to log in, and gain control. That is why it is important to always ensure that your team is aware of scams and that they don’t fall victim.
Take the proper steps to protect your social media accounts from the threat of cybercrime. Consider these tips, and you can promote your business without fear of a breach.
Author: Amanda Winstead