Hardly any company or creative person can live a sustainable existence today without the help of social media. In this article we share some Security Tips That are Vital for Social Media That You Need to Know Today.
Social networks have become a fundamental tool to build brand identity, generate sales and reach and manage the customer.
But it can also be a thorn in the side of any business that doesn’t manage social media security, the risks associated with having an online identity.
Unfortunately, the world is becoming more and more politically polarized from year to year, and to top it all off, the New War isn’t being fought IRL (in real life). Instead, it’s fought through screens and keyboards, and there are plenty of little “wars” and even more determined bad actors to take it on.
It can seem chaotic to the point of frustration. However, a company that manages to navigate that minefield and mitigate any social media security risks will be a winner.
Knowing how to navigate social media platforms and plan for emergencies instead of waiting for them to happen makes all the difference. Don’t know how to do it? Don’t worry! This guide covers it all.
Table of Contents
Why is Social Media Dangerous?
From data phishing to account hijacking and more, there is a lot going on for businesses on social media.
Some threats are more pronounced on one social platform than another, but in general, having a social account is already an inherent risk. Okay, it’s worth having, but still.
Third-Party Application Access
Third-party applications are an integral part of many social platforms as they provide provider features and other built-in features. However, many people – and by extension companies – do not realize that they are opting for these services when creating social profiles.
These third-party vendors often have access to a lot of sensitive data, including the company’s IP address. Moreover, social platforms like Facebook have proven to be relentless in their data collection activities; this can cover an incredible amount of employee online activity and company information.
It is not uncommon for the teams of a marketing department, or even an entire company if it is an SME, to share the identifiers of different accounts.
Often, as part of their duties, multiple individuals must have access to the company’s (or customers’) social accounts. The problem is that sharing credentials between so many people exponentially increases the attack vector for those accounts.
Because now attackers have much more opportunity to attack a wide variety of people and the likelihood of human error increases.
And while some cybersecurity experts have breached data acts or failed to secure data over the years, the human factor is often the biggest security risk in organisations.
Social Media Security and Influencer Marketing
Influencers can be the hottest thing in marketing right now thanks to their real appeal and wide reach, but they can also be a security concern. Another outsider not only has access to the company’s intellectual property, but also links his image to the company’s brand.
This can be a good thing. Ultimately, this is why a brand decides to partner with an influencer. But there is always the fundamental concern of choosing the wrong person and destroying the brand image of the company.
Social media can be an incredibly volatile space, and even geography can have a huge impact on how an influencer is received.
They may do or say something that does not match the brand and can seriously damage it. To the point where in today’s demolition culture, if the influencer is attacked, the company could also become a target.
Not only in relation to the backlash online, but also possibly from hackers. Malicious people have gone so far as to harass and abuse companies due to the abandonment culture phenomenon.
It’s a tricky area, which is why many brands are starting to contact agencies that manage influencers to ensure they make the right decisions. Or, they may use an influencer marketing platform to find influencers and thoroughly analyse their profile before contacting a collaboration.
That way, the influencers they work with have been screened, at least in some way, reducing the risk that bitter criticism or malice will attach itself to the company from the crowd.
Security Tips For Social Media
Despite all the potential dangers of participating in social platforms, there are many things companies can do to mitigate the risks.
When it comes to cybersecurity, the best thing to do is be prepared, even when it comes to many unknown factors about how social media portrays them.
Here are some things that businesses can do to become smaller targets of criminals, hackers, and other online scams.
1. Password Security
Password security sounds deceptively simple and this is exactly where the problem lies. Unfortunately, passwords are pretty much the only barrier protecting most accounts until a better option emerges. That means companies must be vigilant when managing passwords.
If necessary, use a password manager to keep all these passwords in a secure vault. When it comes to sharing accounts between team members, a password manager can be an invaluable tool.
Many password managers offer corporate accounts that allow multiple people to share passwords without compromising security. Also, follow best practices for creating passwords.
2. Set up Multi-Factor Authentication
The only way to protect an account if a password has been compromised is through multi-factor authentication.
Many people know this as a security question and / or a one-time PIN (OTP). Be sure to set this up for each account for added protection.
3. Make Training Available for Employees in Security Best Practices
Companies are unlikely to be able to completely get rid of the human risk factor, but cybersecurity training is critical to ensuring data security.
Training should include best practices covering dos and don’ts and a variety of risk factors you may encounter. Set up regular annual meetings to take these concepts into account with employees and provide up-to-date information.
4. Implement security protocols
In addition to training, companies must also establish a series of security protocols. These should cover best practices and employee behavior in the event of uncertainty or in the event of an emergency.
For example, if an employee suspects a phishing scam, who does he notify and what should be done about it?
5. Be Cautious When Dealing With Partnerships
Dealing with public opinion is much like navigating a minefield, and keeping everyone happy is incredibly difficult.
Some would even say that it is impossible. And yet it is still important to review all publications and potential influencer partners before you give the go-ahead for anything.
This can also include employee contributions. The business owner’s posts should also be verified.
Companies that fail to do so could end up in hot water with their social posts or a partnership this can lead to ruining the good name of the brand.
6. Blocking People Can be Valuable
People often underestimate the power of blocking other people on social media, but it can be a fantastic tool.
Not only will it make their lives much less infested with trolls, but it will also decrease the likelihood of fraudulent comments and phishing attempts from DMs. Obviously, this does not apply to legitimate problems with existing or potential customers.
7. Put a Contingency Plan In Place ASAP
Don’t wait for an error to occur. Plan ahead for known contingencies, such as what to do if your company’s social accounts are hacked?
The internet has many examples of social media contingency plans that can be adopted and adapted as needed to fit the business structure.
The risks associated with social media security are no longer new to anyone and no one can bury their head in the sand and pretend they don’t exist.
The only way to overcome cybersecurity problems on social media is to meet them face-to-face and be prepared. It is impossible to prepare for anything. But a company can be prepared for anything.
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