Social media is a crucial tool for companies to advertise themselves and interact with customers.
However, brands must safeguard their accounts against numerous threats to benefit from social media for business. On social media, the threat posed by hackers, con artists, and impersonators is always expanding.
Social Media Threats
Social media platforms are public spaces where people post content that hackers can exploit. This content is used by hackers to create attacks and plans to access more personal information from the user.
There are different techniques hackers utilize to launch their attacks on social media users. Here are some methods they have:
Crypto scams, in which violators advertise cryptocurrency giveaways on various social media networks, are a common type of fraud.
A con artist impersonates a well-known or reputable member of the cryptocurrency community who is running a giveaway. They ask users to send a certain amount of cryptocurrency to the giveaway address to confirm or verify their wallets. They aren’t going to receive any giveaway in return, though, and users cannot get their cryptocurrency back once they have sent it.
Phishing scams, which entice clients with phony coupons for well-known brands, are another typical scam. Users must provide personal information, including their names, addresses, dates of birth, and even bank information, to redeem the coupon.
Aside from phony coupons, links via messages that people will click just to see the content is another example of phishing attacks. These links can contain malicious software or lead to a phishing site.
The issue of scam ads on Facebook and Instagram is getting worse. Scammers employ false
advertisements to trick customers into thinking they are purchasing from a reputable company. They typically entice customers with absurdly low prices for particular goods or services.
To make it appear authentic, scammers use pictures or other distinguishing characteristics from the legitimate brand. Unaware consumers who purchase from the bogus advertisement either get a subpar copycat item or nothing at all. As a result, people write negative reviews of the original brand, which can cause reputational damage.
Hackers break into devices primarily to steal, alter, or erase information, which may cost brand owners a lot of money and destroy their reputations. Hackers frequently utilize social media accounts they have gained access to, so they can spread malware that steals user information, including login credentials and other sensitive data.
Once attackers have access to personal information like login credentials, they can do anything they want. They can create malware that can access the internal network of a business, which can lead to a data breach.
Therefore, companies must try to secure not only their devices, websites, and email, but they should begin keeping their social media accounts protected too.
How to Protect Your Business Social Media Accounts
Create Strong Passwords
Passwords are crucial when you need to secure accounts. Despite people knowing passwords are essential, they still use weak passwords that can easily be deciphered in just a few minutes by hackers. If you are still using passwords that contain personal information like your name or birthday, or common passwords like PASSWORD1234 or QWERTY, it’s time to change them. If you want to protect your business seriously, begin by creating strong passwords.
A strong password meets the following guidelines:
- 12 to 16 characters
- Combination of upper and lower cases, numbers, and punctuations
- It must not contain any personal information like names, addresses, zip codes, etc.
- Use different passwords for different social media accounts
- Don’t use one social media account to sign in on other accounts
- Change passwords frequently, about every 2-4 months
Activate Two-Factor Authentication
Two-factor authentication is a second layer of security you add to your account. After signing in with your email and password, your account will require a code sent via text or email for you to access the account.
It adds a layer of security, so when someone guesses your password they can still not access your account because they don’t have the code.
The most common cause of data breaches is employee negligence. However, you cannot blame your employees for a data breach if you haven’t instructed them on how to keep your social media accounts safe.
Not all employees know about cybersecurity, how to spot a phishing message, etc. That’s why your company needs to make an effort to have cybersecurity training to help them become aware of these threats. If you train your employees, they can easily help keep accounts and information safe.
Keep Devices Safe
If you want to protect your social media accounts, you need to secure the devices you use to access your accounts. To protect them, you can install antivirus software compatible with your device. You can even find software packages that can cover multiple devices at once to save up on expenses.
Another way is to limit access to websites that contain viruses or malware, like video streaming and free music download. You can install a site-blocking firewall on company-owned devices, but know that employees’ devices will still be at risk.
Don’t Connect to Public or Free Wi-Fi
Public Wi-Fi networks are too unsafe for managing your company’s social media accounts due to many security flaws. For open areas like cafes, hackers can build phony “Guest Wi-Fi” networks. Bad actors can access your information and work as soon as you connect to such a network. However, even authorized public Wi-Fi connections at libraries, airports, and other locations don’t match the security requirements necessary to protect your company’s social network accounts.
Limit Who Has Access to Your Accounts
Limiting the number of people who can access your social media accounts can help you keep them safe. If you limit the number of employees who have access, you can easily track who is posting on your accounts. As a result, it makes it harder for hackers to access your social media accounts via desktops, mobile devices, or emails.
Create Separate Email Accounts for Social Media
Using a separate account for social media accounts, your business, and your personal use is a great way to keep all three safe. If one account has been hacked, others aren’t compromised in the process. Make sure these email addresses with strong passwords and two-factor authentications.
Avoid Clicking on Links
The best thing to do when you see a link in your social media messages, email, and even text is to never click on the link. Not every link you see or receive is safe. Most of them contain malicious software or that directs to a malicious website. Even if you know the person who sent you the link, ask them to confirm it first.
Continue to Monitor Your Accounts
Always keep an eye on your social account and check who signs into it. Check the posts on your platforms and ensure that they are appropriate for your business. As mentioned earlier, limit the number of employees who can access your account, so you can track the accounts carefully and in case there is any suspicious activity.
Keep Apps Updated
Don’t ignore the “update now” notification that appears on your apps. App developers release fresh updates to repair problems and strengthen the security of their products.
Because of the reduced level of security, accounts with outdated software are targets for hackers. As new risks emerge, app developers often change their code and roll out new versions. Because of this, businesses must make sure that social media apps are updated frequently.
Have A Social Media Policy
Implementing a social media policy is one of the first steps you should take to maintain the security of your social media accounts. It should be periodically updated and examined.
Social media changes rapidly, so it is wise to review the policy to ensure it is still applicable. Every time a new platform or profile is introduced, it must be updated.
Verify that the policy has been read, understood, and followed by all employees that will be interacting with your social media.
Centralize Your Social Media Platforms
To build a solid online presence, your team must maintain numerous social media profiles, which also requires granting staff more authority as you grow. It is no surprise that managing so many accounts on multiple platforms can be challenging.
You might think about centralizing the management of all your social media accounts in light of this. Perform an audit of all the social media accounts inside your company, noting who is in charge of what.
Additionally, you ought to be aware of which employee has access to which accounts. Delete any unnecessary or unused social media accounts, and revoke access rights for anyone who shouldn’t have them.
Consolidating accounts under a social media management platform is the best approach to control them. With a single interface, these solutions let you create posts, publish them across several accounts, send and reply to messages, and keep an eye on all social communications and activity.
Additionally, social media management platforms often have built-in virus and spam detection algorithms that further increase the security of your account.
With the growing number of threats online, including on social media, businesses should ensure they keep their social accounts safe from possible attacks. Becoming a victim of data breaches or cyber threats can damage your company’s reputation and result in lost sales. Therefore, be proactive in securing your accounts and ensure that your data is safe, so you will have the peace of mind you need.
AUTHOR: VANESSA VENUGOPAL
Vanessa Venugopal is a passionate content writer. With four years of experience, she mastered the art of writing in various styles and topics. She is currently writing for Softvire Australia – the leading software eCommerce company in Australia and Softvire New Zealand.