The social media statistics are jaw-dropping. For instance, there are approximately 2.3 billion active social media users, 91 percent of retail brands use two or more social media platforms, and new mobile social users are added every twelve seconds.
Implementing a successful social media strategy gives you the potential to grow your business. However, with an increase in the number of cyber-attacks on social media accounts, it is extremely important to take the necessary safety precautions to protect your social media accounts.
Getting your account compromised could have devastating consequences for your business. So, here is a list of six tips to keep you and your business safe on social networks.
Don’t Disclose Sensitive Information
This is one of the most important tips for business users of social media platforms.
If your staff has the ability to post statuses and comments on your social media account, you need to ensure that they are well-informed on the prevention of accidentally revealing security information, product release dates, upcoming features and other sensitive information. This can actually lead to the theft of your product ideas from business competitors, which can cause destruction to your company.
More importantly, your employees should be well-trained in recognizing social engineering attempts which could lead to leaked passwords or other security information.
You should also set rules on staff disclosing sensitive business information on their personal social media accounts.
Be Aware of Scams
There are many malicious applications on social media that can steal personal information such as passwords and other sensitive data. Falling victim to this spyware will increase your chances of having your financial and personal information preyed upon. Fortunately, there are multiple ways to prevent yourself from being duped on social platforms.
Being informed about the different types of scams on social media platforms is exceedingly paramount. For instance, you may think that a particular app is trustworthy but after entering your profile information, hackers can abuse your information and take over.
Take into account that one click on a link is sufficient for a hacker to gain access to your personal and financial data. Once this is achieved, the cyber attacker can steal your money and spread other dangerous malware to your contacts. Keep up to date with the scams and you will be protected.
Don’t Use the Same Password on Multiple Accounts
Using the same password for different accounts is a common mistake many social media users make. This makes it easier for hackers to steal sensitive information from you. For example, if a hacker got a hold of your password that you use for your email, they could try using the same password to log in to your social media account and vice versa.
The best practice is to use a different password for each login and make sure they are not easily guessed. Use both upper and lower case letters, numbers, and symbols and don’t forget to change it often.
Use a Two-Factor Authentication
In case using the above-mentioned password advice fails, using a two-factor authentication will keep your personal and business information safe. Two-factor authentication apps send a verification code to your phone each time you need to log in to your account. If unauthorized individuals try to log in to your account, they will be unable to do so without the additional code.
Some apps will even notify you that someone is trying to login to your account. The app will prompt you to allow or deny the request and if you or your employees are not the ones who are trying to access your account, you can immediately block the intruder from logging in.
Use a VPN
You or your staff might sometimes need to login to your social media account through public networks. However, using public wi-fi is not secure and can increase the chances of getting attacked by a hacker who can steal your login information.
Using a VPN (Virtual Private Network) is effective in preventing such attacks because it encrypts your device’s connection and routes it through a secure offsite server. Therefore, a VPN makes it impossible for hackers and identity thieves to gain access to your usernames and passwords.
Many hackers have adopted blackmailing techniques. They may threaten that they have control of your social media accounts or website and ask you to pay them. They may also send you an email informing you that your social media account is locked. They will usually send a link where you need to “log in to your account to unlock it.” But, clicking on that link will most likely lead you to a spoof site where they can get a hold of your login information.
In most cases, hackers aren’t telling the truth and don’t really have control of your accounts, so it is best to ignore them. If you need to make sure, go directly to your social media account to verify the claim instead of clicking any links in emails.
Protecting your personal and company information is key to staying safe in this world where technology is taking over. The traditional way of stealing money by pick-pocketing is being replaced with cyber theft. Applying these six tips on social media security is vital for safeguarding your company’s information. Enjoy the benefits that social media brings but stay informed and safe in the meantime.
About the Author
Lisa Michaels is a freelance writer, editor and a striving content marketing consultant from Portland. She does her best to stay on top of the current trends in the business world. Feel free to connect with her on Twitter @LisaBMichaels.