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Basic Steps to Secure the Social Media Accounts of Your Business

ImageEveryone on this site loves to have good long talks about what you can do to make your social media account more successful, and that’s great. But it also makes you a target. Hackers love stealing popular social media accounts as unpopular ones are no good to them, read on and I’ll help you keep that popular social media account under your control!

Passwords are still your first defense in online security

It may seem childish and ‘first day,’ but some people still fail at having good passwords. This causes their accounts to be stolen as hackers have all day to design programs that test accounts for common passwords.

The 15 most common passwords that aren’t numbers, according to Slate, are:

  1. 123456 - most popular, other add or subtract numbers to the end of this
  2. password
  3. qwerty
  4. abc123
  5. iloveyou
  6. adobe123
  7. admin
  8. letmein
  9. photoshop
  10. monkey
  11. shadow
  12. sunshine
  13. password1
  14. princess
  15. azerty

If you’re thinking right now “Oh geez, how did this Marcus guess my password! He’s a hacker too!” You need to enter the real world of online security - go change your password now!

You need a different password for each social media account

See number 9 there, where it just says ‘photoshop.’ That person had the right idea, they created a unique password for a separate program, too bad the password named the program!

Having a number of different passwords makes it so that even if a hacker were to steal your Twitter password, they couldn’t use it to hack into your Facebook while they’re at it. This is helping you create layers of complexity, and therefore layers of protection as no hacker wants to have to actually work for a living - they’ll just move on to someone easier.

Aw man, how am I going to remember all these passwords?

There are a number of programs which can help you not only store powerful passwords, but create and enter them for you as well. Here’s a list, with a little blurb about each:

  • LastPass: this is the one that I use. It helps you create new passwords that are strong, stores them for you, and enters them when you go to the login page. All you have to do is remember the one password for LastPass!
  • Password Genie: Used for more than just passwords, stores all types of sensitive data. Has the same auto fill feature as LastPass.
  • SplashID: They focus on mobile applications, with special apps for Blackberry, iOS, Windows Phone, Palm OS and WebOS. For desktop settings, it works with a funky USB key that you plug into your USB slot.
  • Passpack: A password manager that I used while working with a team of social media managers. Allows people to login to store and retrieve their passwords.

Password managers make it easy for you to create strong passwords, and not have to remember them. Passpack may be the most relevant suggestion for a business as it is designed for team password storage.

I like to tweet from remote locations, what can I do?

The very first way that corporations looked to secure their online and mobile activities was through the use of a VPN - a virtual private network. These are now widely available, we review the best VPNs back on the website where my blog is.

Why it’s important to use a VPN when you’re operating remotely, or using public WiFi, is because these are prime locations for hackers to get at your personal data using a technique known as the Evil Twin attack. Having your VPN in operation while mobile will protect your passwords, login information, and anything you send over it that is confidential.

What about shared accounts for multiple social media platforms?

If you want to cut down on the number of accounts that you have floating around, or that you have to give access to for your employees and social media managers, try a social media management application.

This give you one place where all of your social media accounts can be controlled from. Now you only have to give your social media managers access to one account, rather than several, this makes it easier when they move on/are fired and you want to take control back.

Try out HootSuite, Social Oomph, BufferApp, and SocialFlow. I personally use Hootsuite the most, and find its interface to be the most user-friendly. In this particular context, making it easier to manage accounts with multiple users, I’d have to recommend HootSuite.

Image credit to Wikimedia Commons.

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