Keeping Your Company’s Social Media Data Out of Hacker’s Hands

marketing plan templateAre your small business social media accounts secure from hackers? Follow these social media security tips to protect your accounts and data from cyber attacks.

Most businesses have social media accounts as a marketing tool. They use Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. to talk about their specials, discuss product information, and connect with their customers. But after Facebook’s recent troubles, many companies realized how important it is to keep their social media secure.

According to Business 2 Community, Facebook’s poor account security and data mismanagement were major factors that compromised millions of users and their security. If you were affected, or even if you weren’t, it’s so important to take the proper steps to protect yourself online.

Small business social media security

Many small business owners believe that they don’t need to worry about any sort of cyber attack. They think they’re safe since they aren’t a major company like Nike or Apple. But the reality is that anyone can be targeted, regardless of their size. In fact, many hackers prefer small businesses because they handle credit card info and have less cybersecurity to break through. According to a recent survey, some 87% of small businesses experienced a security breach in 2012 alone, meaning it’s not just large companies with huge profit margins that face cyber attack.

If you have an online presence, you’ve spent a lot to time building your following and potentially working with customer information. To keep everyone safe, you first need to create a social media policy.

A social media policy can help you define your best practices for legal, branding, and public relation purposes. It should include your rules and regulations, your security or legal risks, and your roles and responsibilities. In terms of rules and responsibilities, for example, you need to identify who is going to be responsible for responding to the comments on your posts.

You should also take some time to see which applications have access to your information through social media. According to Linux Journal, you may be connected to a number of applications on Facebook without even realizing it. These applications may have access to your birthday, your address, your phone number — all things that can technically be used against you.

If they are able to view this personal information, who knows what else they may be able to see? Go to your settings page and then click the apps settings page. This is where you will find a list of the applications with data access. You can then delete them from your account or choose to keep sharing your information.

Along with keeping your social media accounts safe, it’s important to protect your email. If you plan to share information via email (which you really shouldn’t be doing), you need to make sure that the data is encrypted. This will prevent potential outside readers from knowing what you’re talking about. Be aware of spam and virus emails that may be coming your way, too. As of September 2017, spam messages accounted for 59.56% of email traffic worldwide. If you’re unfamiliar with a specific email or if the subject line looks suspicious, don’t open it. That’s an easy way for hackers to gain access to your computer.

It’s extremely important to keep yourself safe online. While you may be thinking you’re safe by using firewalls and other blocking tools, your social media can be accessed from other units that don’t include your computer. Take a look at your social media and see if there are things that can be done to protect your business’ page, and your customer’s information.

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Valerie M.

Valerie M. is a writer from Upstate New York. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Journalism from The State University of New York at Fredonia in 2016 and is currently working at a digital marketing agency where she writes blog posts for a variety of small businesses all over the country. Valerie enjoys writing about music, animals, nature, and traveling.