Keeping Your Business Safe on Facebook and Other Social Networking Sites
Social media is a necessary terrain of customer research, outreach, and buying today and it's one that requires your company has a strong presence socially to compete and engage your customers where they’re already spending a bulk of their time online. Whether it's with the buyer who needs to sign off on the purchase order or with the mom who you want to stock up on your product, social media is a rich source of business opportunity in brand awareness, customer experience, and exposure.
A strong social presence is a necessity in business. Harnessing the power of social networks to extend your business reach - no matter how small your budget or how specialized your product - is an expensive marketing move that can pay big dividends.
But social channels in business always raise red flags when it comes to cyber security for your business, data, and customers. It’s important to understand these risks and implement all the needed measures to keep your company safe without sacrificing your vital social presence.
Use strong passwords (and enforce frequent changes).
Passwords may seem like a simple step in social security, but the truth is that exposed or hacked passwords tend to contribute to many of the data breaches that occur via social media profiles. Any team members who are accessing, updating, posting, or replying to customer messages through your business social accounts should be using strong, nonsensical passwords that are hard to guess. Combinations of letters, numbers, and symbols help prevent password hacks and coupled with enforced, frequent password changes these simple steps can go a long way in keeping your business social accounts secured from unauthorized use.
Control who can access and update your social profiles, groups, and pages.
Only the employees who need access to your business profiles on social media should have access. Each team member who needs access to the account should have a secure password and only be given access to make changes or use the system as needed for their role. Limiting who has access to your social accounts and what users can change or update helps protect your system from the inside out by giving employees access to what they need to perform their jobs without exposing private information or opening the door for inadvertent or intentional breaches internally.
If you have an active customer base on social media, there are advanced Cyber Security tools for social media that you can use to help secure, control, and monitor your accounts online.
Keep sensitive, private data completely offline.
One of the best ways to keep private, sensitive business data secure it to keep it offline as much as possible. When you’re creating or updating your business profiles, it’s necessary to add location and contact information, but it’s important to be smart so you don’t inadvertently share sensitive data from your company in the process.
Of course, you want to include details and information that validates your company and promotes your brand, but it’s wise to have dedicated social contact channels set up to monitor and control data. Keep any data on your business location and contact details as generic as possible and set up alternate communication portals that can be used online without exposing personal details of employees.
For example, you can set up dedicated email accounts for social interactions and display those addresses on your profiles for customers or clients to use for contact outside of the social chat tools. This way, no personal data of employees filters online and it makes it harder for data hackers to learn your internal email address structures.
Layer your security.
Thinking about secuirty in layers will help ensure you protect your business from both the anticipated security issues and those that tend to infiltrate unexpectedly. You should always have multiple levels of cyber defense, monitoring, and mitigation in place to ensure that no intentional or accidental breaches happen online via your social networks.
In addition to using strong passwords on your social accounts and leveraging the security controls available in each social platform, a strong Cyber Security product is key to protecting a social network from the potential for spam, cyber attacks, malware, and ransomware.
Train your teams to be wary of social messaging content.
It’s important to make sure that all of your teams accessing your social accounts understand how to identify and navigate away from common hacks and breach tactics. Scammers and hackers often spam accounts through the integrated messaging platforms in an attempt to gather sensitive data or get clicks on harmful links leading to spyware or malware.
Make sure that the people in your organization who are doing the social networking know to be wary of content in messages and posts and know never to click on suspicious links or give proprietary details via social networks.
Make cyber security a company-wide responsibility.
It's easy for one hand not to know what the other is doing in business. But when it comes to the security of a network this shouldn't happen. IT and the people who are handling social media for the company need to work together to ensure that the integrity of the business is maintained at all times. One good way to do this is to have a training where IT can explain tactics for ensuring that passwords, websites and more are always protected -- no matter what corner of the web you are on.