social media hacking statistic

How to Secure Your Business Social Media Accounts

One in four social media accounts get hacked. That’s a quarter of all accounts and most of us have multiple accounts these days. To put this in perspective if you have a Facebook, Twitter, pinterest or Linkedin account then statistically one of those accounts is likely to be hacked at some point.

With that in mind if you haven’t been paying attention to how to secure your business social media accounts then it is time to give it some serious thought. The good news is that by taking care and investing some time and effort you can minimise risk and keep your accounts secure.

Keeping social media accounts secure

The biggest risk to your social media security is your staff. This may be an uncomfortable thought but the fact of the matter is the most common breach of security is someone getting hold of a password and logging in. The more staff that have access to login and password details the higher the risk. So what can you do?

Have A Social Media Policy
One of the first things to do to ensure you keep your social media accounts secure is to implement a social media policy. The policy should be reviewed and updated regularly. Social media evolves quickly so it is always a good idea to revisit the policy and ensure it is still relevant. It should definitely be updated every time a new platform or profile is introduced.
Make sure staff have read and understood the policy and they adhere to it.

Think About Who Has Access & Control Of Your Social Media Accounts
Think about who has access and the type of access those individuals have. Staff should have the access they need to carry out the work they do but they may not need full admin rights. On Facebook for example someone with full admin rights can assign rights to others putting them in full control of who has access. This is a worst case scenario but a disgruntled member of staff or former employee with full administration rights could give access to anyone on Facebook.

The number of people with access should be kept to a minimum but don’t allow one individual member of staff to set up and control a social media platform in isolation. If that individual leaves, is off sick or feels disgruntled for some reason then the account becomes vulnerable. This is a surprisingly common problem and one which often leaves managers feeling powerless.

Using social media management software such as hootsuite or sprout social can help if you have multiple members of staff who need access to post on social channels.

Be Social Media Savvy
It is commonplace to shorten links on social media but this does mean that the domain is often unclear. Be wary of clicking on suspicious links. Clickbait is everywhere and it is easy to be taken in. Chrome and Firebox both offer plug-ins (URL Expanders for Chrome and URL Expanders for Firefox ) which will show you the expanded URl so using these can be helpful for checking and identifying where links are really coming from.

Other tools such as BrightCloud and TrueURL.net will also scan and decode links.

Direct messages can be another source of phishing scams so always be wary of messages from unknown sources.

Make Sure Passwords Are Strong
Use passwords which are strong, don’t use sequences of numbers or letters or passwords which could be obvious to anyone else. Use a combination of upper and lower case, special characters and numbers.

Don’t use the same password for every account and change passwords regularly. Set reminders to ensure this is done.

Tools & Software
Make sure you have appropriate IT security in place, a full spectrum anti-virus software is a must and make sure it is up-to-date. If you aren’t sure if your current anti-virus is adequate then speak to your IT provider.

Mobile Devices & Laptops

The very nature of social media means it isn’t a 9-5 office based activity. If those accessing and responding to company posts are working on devices away from the office do you have a plan in place in case a smart phone, tablet or laptop is lost or stolen? At Pescado as soon as we are notified that a device has been lost or stolen we either wipe all data from the device and/or remotely shut the device down ensuring your social media accounts don’t fall into the wrong hands.

Act Today
Sky news, Burger King, Microsoft and NASA are just some of the organisations who have experienced security problems with their social media profiles. Problems can range from short term embarrassment to long term, serious damage to an organisation’s reputation. If you haven’t already put strategies in place to secure your business social media accounts then don’t put it off. Make it a priority.