As American companies and the American public spend more and more of their time on social media sites, security hazards across social media platforms are on the rise. In 2016 alone, social media scams on the likes of Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter increased by a whopping 150 percent. Meanwhile, even more recent reports suggest social medial attacks are only getting more sophisticated.
What does this mean for American businesses that are invested in building their brands on social media? Digital security is more important than ever. Here are six simple ways to improve the security of your company's social profiles.
Employ strong passwords.
"FacebookLogin123" just doesn't cut it. Instead, passwords should include a mixture of numbers, symbols, and capital and lowercase letters. Also be sure to change your password at least once every three months. Whenever possible, require two-factor authentication so you have more than a single password standing between your social profiles and a would-be hacker. And speaking of logging in: Remember to log out whenever a profile isn't in use.
Don't just rely on default settings.
When you create a social media profile, it will automatically set itself up according to default settings. The trouble is that most of these settings represent the loosest security standards on any given social media platform. That's why it's so important to manually customize your social media accounts' privacy settings in order to maximize their security.
Don't link personal and business accounts.
This just makes it that much easier for hackers to target both your business and your employees, because if they figure out one set of login info, they'll have access to multiple accounts. Thus, it's important to maintain a distinct password and username for each social media profile. On a related note, be sure to limit admin privileges to only those employees who need this access in order to do their job. This helps you keep track of where vulnerabilities might be coming from should your account(s) be subjected to a cyberattack.
Be mindful about what you share.
Posting about your company's retreat may seem like a harmless way to show your customers a little more about your brand-but it also announces to everyone on social media that your office may be abandoned, thereby extending an invitation to would-be thieves. This is just one example of the ways in which social media posts can unintentionally compromise your company's security. To prevent this from happening, train all employees to have a security-focused mindset, and require that all posts be screened by more than one person (with an eye toward potential security threats) before they go live.
Protect your data at physical access points.
While most social media advice focuses on deterring cyberattacks, your data can also fall into malicious hands if your work devices (e.g. tablets or laptops) are stolen. To prevent the physical theft of social media data and other sensitive information, invest in a security system for your office.
Get rid of accounts that aren't in use.
There's simply no point in making company data available to potential hackers when a social media account isn't doing your brand any good. If you don't regularly update a given social media platform, then close out the account so you aren't leaving potentially sensitive information hanging in the ethosphere.
By implementing the preceding strategies, you'll help keep your company's social media profiles safe even as hackers escalate their attempts to break in.