You’ve probably read about phishing emails, personal identity scams, and theft of financial data. But did you know social media may also be a security risk for your business?

Social media is crucial for a business trying to reach audiences online.  However, it’s also critical to protect the enormous amount of information shared and stored on social media. It’s probably a good idea to take the following steps to safeguard data and reduce risks to your business:

  1. Check the authenticity of links before you click on them. Just like in a phishing email, a link shared on social media (even by a trusted friend) can be malicious. A link might download malware which could damage your company’s entire network, or it may require you to enter a password that will enable access to sensitive information on your device.
  2. Require employees to sign social media agreements.  Social media policies should include specific rules around social media posts or shares as well as guidelines on communication with clients via social media. Other important components of a social media policy include:
    • Rules around personal social media use at work
    • Confidentiality agreements
    • Designated employee responsible for managing your company’s social media accounts
    • Expectations for keeping software and company devices updated
    • Tips on how to identify and avoid scams, attacks and other security threats
    • Legal and regulatory statements
    • Who to notify if there’s a concern around social media conduct or security
  3. Make full use of up-to-date anti-malware and antivirus software. The newest anti-malware software detects, removes and repairs damage caused by a harmful program. Some anti-malware software even blocks hostile websites and viruses in real-time. Antivirus software tracks and removes older threats such as Trojans and worms as well as unwanted spyware and adware installed on your computer without your knowledge.
  4. Avoid entering personal information on unfamiliar sites. Only enter usernames, passwords or other personal data on trusted, proven sites. Use to check the authenticity of a scam or information before trusting it.
  5. Keep social accounts active. Old accounts/pages or those that your company rarely uses are more likely to be targeted by hackers. A hacker might use your businesses social media pages to send malicious links to others or share false information about your business. If the account is not accessed often, delete it or close it down before you suffer any damage.
  6. Be cautious when installing third-party social media apps. You may have heard of the questionable FaceApp which has irrevocable access to the facial photos used and created within it. There are other apps that integrate with major social media networks without proper security safeguards that leave users vulnerable to hackers or information gathering. If you are currently using any apps that have access to your social profiles and pages, you will want to review their permissions and information/access sharing procedures.
  7. Protect your phone with a password. You might be surprised to learn that about half of smartphone users don’t lock their phones with a password. It’s best to use the fingerprint or numeric code options as well as two-factor authentication for accessing social media tools. Within a business, GRIT recommends using “business manager accounts” which enables your company to clearly outline who has rights to make changes and updates to a social media platform. At GRIT, we are known for our digital services, which includes managing business social media accounts to enhance security. To learn more about our digital services and how we can help protect your social media accounts, reach out to us today.
  8. Hold employee trainings on social media security. Protect yourself by scheduling a special security training or adding it to your regular meetings to ensure your staff are making the best choices online to reduce risk for your business.
  9. Limit access to your social accounts. Research has found that the most common cyber security threats originate from poor judgment by employees rather than predatory hackers. If you limit access to your social accounts to small group of administrators, this will help reduce your risk. Even if your team regularly works on social content, only a couple of them need to have rights for posting.
  10. Conduct a quarterly review of settings and threats. Check to ensure the privacy settings on your social pages are up-to-date since many social networks change administrative functionality regularly. Review the list of those with access to publish posts and update or limit that control as needed.

Using social media safely is a great way to connect with your target audiences.  Following just a few simple steps will drastically reduce your company’s vulnerabilities online!

If you’re looking for more ways to make sure your business’s digital footprint is secure or reach your audiences in the most effective way, get in touch with us today!