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How to Make Sure Your Social Media Accounts Stay Secure

Posted by Joe Clarkin on 5/16/16 11:00 PM
Topics: social media

This being the internet, security is always something you want to keep in mind whether you're browsing alone or your handling an important web-based task as part of your job. You may not think of social media as an aspect of the internet you need to worry about securing, but it's a crucial part of the business for most college stores, and you would be wise to make it remains unharmed.

Over at Hootsuite's social blog, author Sam Milbrath has written "5 Social Media Security Risks (And How to Avoid Them)." We've excerpted a portion of Sam's article, with a little from the risks list and a little from the solutions list. Be sure to check out her full article to make sure your social media accounts are secure at all times.

Social Media Security

3. Malicious apps

The internet is smattered with malicious software and it’s only getting worse. Spyware, for example, is any software that collects personal information or sends spammy ads without your consent. Adware tracks personal and sensitive information in much the same way. All malicious apps steal things like personal or sensitive information, passwords, and data without you knowing. Just like having street smarts, think before you click or share information.

4. Social scams and phishing attacks

Similar to malicious apps that try to collect sensitive data, phishing scams use social media to trick people into giving personal information such as banking details and passwords. Phishing attempts are up this year by 150 percent on major social networks like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn. Social scams range from fake customer service accounts or fake accounts of your friends, to spammy contests in social comments that lure you to ‘buy this’ or ‘click here.’

5. Malware attacks and hacks

There are good hackers and bad hackers. Some try to improve internet security by forcing IT departments and protection products to constantly innovate, while others hack for fun or to make a buck. Attacks can be focused and targeted, where ‘cyber gangs’ go after individual organizations with advanced malware campaigns. Other hacks come slowly, with smaller phishing efforts adding up over time. Hacks and malware attacks are the biggest security threats to businesses on social media.

Tips on how to avoid social media security risks

1. Create a social media policy

Create a social media policy and procedures to protect your company. Make sure to consult all relevant parties, whether that’s executives, IT, legal, security and compliance, or PR beforehand. Clearly define the dos and don’ts on every social channel for engagement and employee advocacy. Include best practices, guidelines, and procedures on how your organization plans to implement training and enforce proper use.

Consider including guidelines on how to:
  • Create a secure password
  • Avoid spam, phishing attacks, and human error
  • Share on-brand and approved content
  • Engage properly on behalf of the brand
  • Avoid social media platforms’ default privacy and security settings
  • Proceed in the event of an attack

2. Establish social media training

Reinforce your social media policy with in-depth training. This will bring any potential issues or gaps in security to light. Social media education is the best way to arm your business against avoidable human error. Walk your employees and advocates through what they can and cannot share, how to use secure social media tools, and what an unsafe link or social account looks like.

If your brand is worried about full-scale malware attacks, hacks, or bad press, weave crisis communications training into your policy and education. This should cover exactly what to do in the event of a hack or PR disaster on social and how to recover with minimal damage.

— Sam Milbrath, Hootsuite's social blog
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About Joe Clarkin

Joe Clarkin is a former copywriter at MBS. When he’s not working or studying, you’re most likely to find him reading a book or watching a game.

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