The bad news: High-profile hackers are here to stay.
Last year, Burger King’s Twitter account was hacked (followed by intense media attention) and an attack on Jeep’s account soon followed. In January, social media platform Snapchat’s servers were attacked (and info for about 4.6 million members was compromised) and both CNN and Skype’s Twitter accounts (as well as Skype’s blog) got hacked.
Social media accounts are now a major part of corporate marketing. Unfortunately, hackers know this and they will continue to do what they can to attack businesses and steal information.
However, even with the threat of hackers, social media is serious business now – and you can’t avoid it. If you’ve worked to create a solid online presence in social media to engage with customers and build a following, how can you protect yourself?
Here are four tips to help protect your social media accounts, pages and posts (at least from the inside):
- Control access carefully – How many people have access to your company’s social media accounts? Who is allowed to post on your company’s behalf? Are there large numbers of people across the organization, or is posting limited to a small team of people who are clear on what your online image should be? One other tip: When any employee with social media access leaves your organization for any reason, change your social media account passwords immediately. And on that note . . .
- “Password123” is not an option – Hackers (including disgruntled employees) are very good at getting into accounts with simple passwords. Your password needs to be virtually “un-guessable,” with at least 10 characters, including a combination of numbers, upper- and lower-case letters and characters. (Read more tips from Google on creating a strong password.)
- Consider a third-party platform for ads – If you’re running ads in social media, consider campaigns using third-party platforms, like Facebook’s promoted posts. These platforms help with social media security and reduce exposure to hackers.
- Communicate with your employees – This sounds simple, but many companies don’t take the time to create or discuss an “appropriate Internet use policy.” Make sure your employees understand the dangers of SPAM, unapproved downloads and Whether employees have access to your business accounts or not, make it clear what is and is not acceptable when it comes to technology (including your online marketing efforts), as well as the penalties for abusing privileges. Put it in writing and have your employees read and sign it.
Need advice about your social media planning and presence? Have more questions about this topic? Contact us today!