Almost every company has a social media account. Whether it be Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter, businesses are using these platforms on a daily basis. Social media can be a great tool to advertise your brand and connect directly with your customers. This is what makes social media accounts a target for cybercriminals.
Cybercriminals have the ability to hijack your social media account if you are not careful. If this happens, they can communicate directly with your customers and trick them into clicking onto malicious phishing websites. Companies running advertisements also have card information linked to these accounts. So not only are customer data and brand reputations at risk, companies can also suffer financially if a social media account is hacked.
Before all this happens, there are 3 simple steps we can put in place now to reduce the risk of having our social media account hacked. Putting these steps in place now, can protect your customers and your company data from being leaked or stolen.
- Restrict Login Access
The first step we can do today to prevent this, is to restrict login access to a small group of trusted people. The more users that have access to a company’s social media accounts, the higher the risk of being hacked. Ensure that there is a minimum of two admins at all time on all company social accounts. This is a safeguard in case one user loses access to the account.
Regularly check who has access to your social media and there are no unknown users. Keep your admin list up to date, by removing users who no longer need to access the accounts anymore, such as past staff. By keeping on top of your social media admin access, you will be able to reduce the risk of being hacked, and are able to identify any suspicious activity easier.
- Use strong passwords and two-factor authentication
All users who have access to a company’s social media account should have two-factor authentication turned on. This is an extra layer of protection to ensure that all users logging into the account, are the true user. Also, all social media accounts should have a strong password.
Note: Make a separate password for all social media accounts!!
All of us are guilty of reusing the same password for multiple accounts. Nevertheless, creating a strong password for social media accounts is essential. Avoid using your business name, your birthday, or even your own name, as these passwords are too easy for cybercriminals to guess. Creating a strong password can reduce the risk of;
1) cybercriminals accessing your account,
2) cybercriminals using a technique called credential stuffing on all your accounts.
- Have a crisis plan
In the unfortunate event that your company’s social media is hacked, it is important to have a crisis plan in place. This includes identifying;
- what data has been compromised,
- reducing the spread of malicious software (if any),
- removing malicious software,
- and recovering from the attack.
Having a crisis plan in place will allow employees to know how to respond quickly to the issue, and mitigate it in a timely manner. You will also need to communicate with you customers what has happened, what the company is doing about the issue, and what the company is going to do to prevent this happening again in the future.
To conclude, a company’s social media account is great to communicate directly with customers. Unfortunately, if this account is hacked, sensitive data of the company and of its customers could be stolen or leaked. 3 simple steps we can do today to protect our social media accounts are;
- restrict login access
- use strong passwords and two-factor authentication
- have a crisis plan