How to Keep Your Social Media Accounts from Getting Hacked

The fear of having your social media accounts hacked is enough to keep marketing teams awake at night. It’s horrible to think that the efforts of years spent building a brand and a customer base can be washed away in an instant by a disgruntled employee or nefarious stranger accessing the company Instagram or Facebook account.

Unfortunately, there’s no foolproof way to protect your accounts 100%, but there are several things you can do to make them as bulletproof as possible. Here are five tips:

1. Ditch the 'easy, peasy' passwords

A recent survey by SplashData revealed the most common passwords of 2015 were "123456," "password," and "12345678.” Using easy password combinations on social accounts (or anywhere, actually) is like leaving your front door unlocked every day. Thieves may overlook your house for a while but one day you’ll come home to find all your silverware gone.

And don’t think you can cut corners by using something like “123456ABC.” As SplashData CEO Morgan Slain points out. “We 've seen many people attempt to be more secure by adding characters to passwords, but if these longer passwords are based on simple patterns, they'll put you at just as much risk of having your identity stolen by hackers.”

The reason people use easy passwords is because they’re effortless to remember, and that’s precisely what hackers count on. To alleviate this, use a password vault that’s designed to thwart criminals while still remaining simple to use. Options like LastPass and 1Password generate strong passwords and store them safely until you need them. 

2. Change it up

Be sure to change the passwords on all your social accounts regularly. There are several password managers on the market that make quick work of this arduous task - some even remind you to update passwords on a schedule of your choosing.

Refreshing your passwords on a regular basis accomplishes two things: 

  • First, it adds an extra layer of protection in the event of a data breach with your password protection or social media service. If hackers end up with a month-old list of member login information, you’ll be a step ahead of them if you routinely change your password.
  • Second, refreshing your passwords keeps former employees from accessing your accounts with old information. 

3. Share with care

If you have more than one employee managing your social accounts, you’ll want to find a way to share passwords without tacking them to the team corkboard. This is another way password managers really shine - many include a tool for sharing account login information in a way that obfuscates the actual details while allowing the employee to sign into account in a couple of clicks. Onboard as many team members as you like, no one but the administrators see the passwords.

4. Don’t get click happy

Many social media account hacks occur through phishing attempts and malicious links so be careful what you click. Your best defense is to use a third-party platform to manage all your social accounts in one place. Services like Hootsuite are designed to spot malicious links and alert you to a potential account hijacking attempt before it’s too late.

5. Ask for help

At the end of the day, marketing teams want to do what they love best: dream up new ways to engage customers and build the brand. Managing the details of a batch of social media accounts and keeping them safe is time-consuming and sometimes frustrating. Don’t be afraid to call in an extra set of hands. Contract with a social media professional who’s skilled in making sure your accounts are safe and secure so you can get back to creating great content that drives customers.  

Main image via Shutterstock

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