For better or for worse, the presence of social media has become ubiquitous in our personal and professional lives. Today, social media has developed well past being just a virtual commodity. Businesses have recently realized how powerful of a marketing tool social media can be. Needless to say, it’s here to stay.
Although social media is an exceptional cyber bridge between you and your consumers, it can leave your business susceptible to cybersecurity threats. In fact, according to a survey conducted by BusinessTech Weekly, 20% of small and medium-sized businesses have been hacked on social media.
These targeted attacks can be incredibly sophisticated, which is why social media security for your business is more important now than ever before. Continue reading to learn more about social media threats, as well as best practices to mitigate the chances of a cyber breach.
Common Social Media Threats
There are hundreds of ways hackers target social media accounts. Below are some of the more common social media threats you should be aware of:
Many businesses reserve brand handles on social media sites even if they don’t intend to use them or have stopped using them. These unmonitored accounts are prime targets for cyber attacks.
If breached, hackers can pose as your business and post fraudulent messages. These could include false information or virus links. These types of attacks can negatively impact your reputation, which is why you want to monitor all of your social media accounts, even if you don’t use them.
One of the greatest challenges for social media users is determining what information is real and what is fake. Statista indicates that nearly 16% of all Facebook accounts are fraudulent.
Fake social media accounts can also be incredibly damaging to your business reputation. Although most platforms can flag an account before causing damage, you always want to be on the lookout for imposters.
Phishing attacks are one of the oldest cybersecurity scams in the book. And yes, they can impact your social media accounts too.
One way these scams work is fake users will post links to get free coupons for big-name brands. Reclaiming the coupon usually requires releasing sensitive information. Retailers who sell a lot of products should particularly be on the lookout for these types of scams.
Best Practices for Protecting Your Business on Social Media
With the growth of social media skyrocketing, the opportunity for hackers has never been greater. Fortunately, there are ways businesses can mitigate the cyber risks associated with social media. These include:
1. Having a Company-Wide Social Media Policy
If your business uses social media, having a company-wide social media policy is a must. It should instruct employees how to use social media responsibly, especially when using a company account.
At the very least, your social media policy should include the following:
- Rules on what you can say about the company
- Confidentiality guidelines, especially for personal client information
- How to keep your network secure
- Which departments or members have access to the accounts
- When to create new passwords
- How to maintain security while working remotely
- How to manage software updates
- Keeping devices updated
- Who to notify if there is a cyber breach
This is by no means an exhaustive list. But it should serve as a good starting point.
2. Training Team Members on Social Media Security
Having a robust social media policy doesn’t have any benefit if you don’t train your team members on how to mitigate threats. Training provides a better understanding of the policies and allows team members to ask engaging questions.
Along with following company guidelines, training should include:
- Being able to spot fake accounts
- Being vigilant when handling company information
- Knowing how to spot phishing or malware threats
- Knowing how to protect private information
- Knowing what to do if hacked
3. Partnering with a Network Security Provider
One of the best ways to help protect your business from social security threats is having a managed network service provider.
If you would like to learn more about our network services, feel free to contact us today to get a free assessment.