Social media has become an integral part of marketing strategies for businesses of all sizes. However, with the increasing popularity of social media, the risk of security breaches has also increased. As a marketer, it is essential to be aware of potential threats and take measures to protect your brand’s reputation and your customer’s privacy. In this article, we will discuss some essential social media security tips that every marketer should know to safeguard their online presence. From using strong passwords and two-factor authentication to monitoring for suspicious activities and regularly updating software, these tips can help ensure the safety and integrity of your social media accounts.
Use strong passwords
– Make sure that your password is a minimum of eight characters long. The more characters, the better.
– Use a mix of uppercase and lowercase letters.
– Use numbers in your password, instead of just letters.
– Try to use symbols as well, if permitted by the site you’re using.
– Don’t use dictionary words or names you recognize (i.e., don’t use “dog” or “Harrison Ford”). The more specialized and unique your password is, the less likely it will be to be guessed (or hacked) by someone else.
– Don’t make obvious patterns on the keyboard (like asdf). Hackers know to look for these kinds of things!
Use a password manager
As you go through the process of setting up each individual account, be sure to use a strong password that’s unique to that account. That way, if one login is compromised, it won’t compromise all your accounts.
You can create complex passwords by using a password manager like LastPass or 1Password. These services store all your passwords for you and make them available via an encrypted browser plugin. You only have to remember one master password in order to access all of your other passwords.
For those who have difficulty remembering multiple passwords, this will be a real time-saver!
1Password also allows users to generate random, strong passwords by using its Password Generator feature (see image below).
Update your devices, both hardware, and software. This is one of the most important things you can remember to do. Manufacturers are constantly patching problems that hackers find in their systems. And this goes for everything: phone, laptop, tablet, computer, printer, router, etc. When an update is available it’s usually there for a good reason.
The next time your device tells you there’s an update available take a moment out of your day to download and install it. You’ll save yourself a lot of headaches down the road (and some money too).
Verify your apps and browser extensions
Social media is a growing market, but it’s also notoriously full of bad actors. To protect your iPhone, you’ll want to keep an eye out for these four types of apps and browser extensions that give hackers a leg up:
– Apps with no security seals: These apps may look reputable, but they’re never going to get a seal from Apple or Google. Stick with the official products from brands.
– Apps designed to scrape login data: A social networking app can only get so close to your password before someone spots the duplicity. Don’t let anyone get too crafty in their attempts to take advantage of you!
– Browser extensions or add-ons: You should be wary of any software that promises new features or functionality in exchange for access to private data. Just because it’s not named “Social Media” doesn’t mean it’s good for your security!
Secure your website with HTTPS
You can improve your website’s security by switching from HTTP to HTTPS. HTTPS is a more secure protocol, which means your site will be less susceptible to breaches. Additionally, HTTPS sites get shared more frequently on social media and tend to rank higher in search results than their HTTP counterparts. Plus, it might increase conversions as well!
Enable two-factor authentication
It is a method of authentication that involves two methods of authentication—something you have, and something you know. Two-factor authentication gives you some protection from hackers who would otherwise be able to access your account. While two-factor authentication is not bulletproof for online fraud, it can help to make sure that your account data and sensitive personal information are not available to thieves who may want to use those in order to commit fraud on your accounts or other services.
Monitor the dark web for leaked credentials
There are several ways that hackers can gain access to your company’s credentials. Companies like Brandwatch can help you track mentions of your company on the dark web.
You may think that monitoring the dark web is only useful for catching cybercriminals, but you should also be concerned about disgruntled employees posting sensitive information on this side of the internet.
Don’t use public WiFi without a VPN
Public Wi-Fi is unsecured, and it’s really easy for hackers to grab your data while you’re using public Wi-Fi.
To keep your data secure, use a virtual private network (VPN). When you use a VPN, all the information sent from your computer over the internet will be encrypted. This means that if anyone does sniff out your data, they won’t be able to read it.
It can also help you get around location-based restrictions some websites put on their content. For example, let’s say that you live in Australia but want to watch content from BBC iPlayer or Netflix US. A VPN will let you appear as if you are connecting from a different country so that you can still access this content!
Only connect to sites that start with HTTPS://
– Only connect to sites that start with HTTPS://. The “s” in HTTPS:// stands for secure, which means the connection between your browser and the website is encrypted. This prevents hackers from eavesdropping on your online activity and stealing your personal information. To check if a site is secure, make sure it starts with https:// instead of http:// (The “https” indicates a website uses encryption). If you see an icon of a padlock next to the URL, that means you’re on a secure page.
Take advantage of security features added by social networks
Social networks have added new security features over the past couple of years, which can make it easier to secure your accounts. For example, Facebook added two-factor authentication which adds an extra layer of security in addition to your password by requiring a second form of identification, such as a unique one-time code sent via text message.
Additionally, Twitter recently rolled out an experimental feature that allows users to limit the apps that have access to their accounts. The feature is still in development but hopefully will be released soon for all Twitter users.
Use unique email addresses for social media accounts
Having a unique email address for each of your social media accounts will help you maintain security. With a unique email, it’s easier to spot fake logins or phishing attempts targeting your account, and you can figure out which account is being compromised in the event that you experience an attack.
If one of your accounts does get hacked and the hacker tries to change the password, using a unique email address for each of your social media accounts means that even if they can change the password on one account, it won’t impact all of them.
Check Your Privacy Settings Frequently
It’s not just your personal social media profiles that need to be updated frequently. You should also check the privacy settings on your business’s social media profiles, especially if you manage the accounts yourself. Make sure that you’re comfortable with the information that is publicly available and ensures that you aren’t revealing too much about yourself or others.
Need to know how to change your privacy settings? Check out this post for Facebook, and check out each social network’s help section for more information on changing account settings.
Think Before You Click on Links and Download Files in Messages, Apps, and Emails
It’s a good idea to think twice before clicking on links or downloading files in your social media apps and messages. Remember, if you’re not 100% sure who sent the message, do not click. Don’t become a victim of social engineering attacks.
Malicious actors are always creating new ways to trick their victims into handing over their login credentials. The most common type of phishing attack is called “spear-phishing”. Spear phishers target specific people with emails that seem legitimate but contain malicious links or attachments that can give the attacker access to your computer and its files.
Email often seems like it comes from a trusted source—someone you know or someone within your company—but sometimes they come from unexpected sources as well. These sorts of messages often claim to have special offers or discounts, such as “50% off!” or “Free!”!
Be Cautious When Responding to Messages or Posts
– When you receive a message from someone, double-check to make sure it’s actually from that person. Verify the source and ensure the message is legitimate before responding.
– Check all URLs within messages for legitimacy as well. Hackers can fake or spoof a URL so you think you’re clicking one thing when in reality you’re going somewhere else entirely. Hovering over a link is not enough; copy and paste the destination into your address bar to see what page really comes up.
– You should also be wary of email addresses that don’t match or look strange. If the email is coming from someone new, be sure to ask them if they sent it, just in case!
- The English language can be tricky, even for native speakers, but poorly constructed grammar and spelling just screams “scam!” Take time to check every sentence thoroughly before interacting with an unfamiliar source.
- Formatting can also provide warning signs about an incoming message. Take notice of any abrupt changes in font style or size, as well as text alignment issues that could indicate something isn’t quite right with the message being sent your way (via Buffer).
Verify Your Sources Before Posting Or Sharing Information
You should always verify the authenticity of information before you share it. Verify the source of the information and ensure that it is accurate. Don’t share unverified information, whatever your reason to do so. It’s also important to give credit to the original source, if applicable. Another important thing is to ensure that the information you are sharing is relevant to your audience and wouldn’t bore them out of their wits.
Think About Publicly Available Information on Your Social Media Accounts
Some social media sites allow you to choose who can see your posts, while others do not. If you post something on Facebook, anyone who views your page may be able to see it. Consider how a potential employer might view any posts they find on your social media accounts before hitting “post.”
Avoid Oversharing Personal Information on Social Media
When it comes to your personal information, there’s a lot to consider on social networking websites. Be sure never to share any of the following:
– Your birthday or anniversary
– Vacation plans (before, during, and after)
– Anything that could be used to answer security questions (your mother’s maiden name, the name of your pet, etc.)
– The school you attended
– Information that can be used by identity thieves (including where you work and your address)
When it comes to location-based services, such as Foursquare, always ask yourself if sharing your current location is really necessary. If you’re not trying to meet up with friends at a particular place and time, then there’s no reason why you should check in at a restaurant or park. Sharing your whereabouts while on vacation also makes it obvious that no one is home and that your house is ripe for robbery!
As an extra precaution, disable geotagging capabilities on your phone so others aren’t able to snoop around online looking for information about where you’ve been.
Don’t Share Your Location Physically or Digitally Unless You Have To!
Instagram and Twitter are two great ways to connect with your audience, but it’s important to keep them safe as you do so. For instance, one mistake that many companies make is posting about their location. While this may help to build up your company profile, it can also put you at risk. You don’t want random people showing up at your office or store or putting the safety of yourself and others in danger.
Instead, you should only post about your business location when necessary. If possible, use geofencing to ensure that people who follow you in a specific location will be able to see what you posted online and where they can find it. Otherwise, consider turning off your geolocation settings on social media sites like Facebook and Instagram as well as on Google search results.
Don’t Re-Use Passwords For Multiple Accounts (Including Social Networking Websites)
No two-factor authentication methods are the same, and that’s a good thing. All of them have their own advantages and disadvantages. If you don’t want to use one-time passwords, then you should try out a hardware key.
Even though they’re expensive, they are more secure than any other form of two-factor authentication, and many big companies such as Google, Facebook, and Twitter have already adopted this technology. If a hacker successfully breaks into your account, they’ll still need the physical device in order to access it.
On the other hand, if you don’t want to invest in a hardware security key or use one-time passwords, then at least try using two different passwords for each account. For example one password for your personal accounts and another for your business accounts (and the same goes for other online services).
Instead of repeating these tips over and over again with slightly different wording each time you write about security on social media sites (which can get quite annoying after a while), why not write an entire article on just that subject?
Don’t Use Social Media as a Backup for Sensitive Data
If you’re thinking about using your social media accounts as a backup for sensitive data, don’t. Social media is a public place, and your information isn’t as secure there as it would be if you were using a dedicated secure server or cloud service. The same goes for sharing spreadsheets and other documents on social networks—you’re better off using a more reliable form of collaboration software, such as Dropbox or Google Docs.
A little effort can go a long way toward keeping your most sensitive information safe from hackers.
The first and most important thing to know about keeping your social media accounts secure is that you don’t need to be an expert on security to do it well. As long as you’re willing to put in a little effort and self-education, you can keep your information safe from hackers.
You need to be vigilant about who you share your information with and what information you share on social media. Clearly, a hacker can’t steal personal info if they have nothing of yours to steal. But just because a person looks trustworthy doesn’t mean that they are. You should never include personally identifiable info (like any of the following) on a personal or brand social media account:
- Credit Card Number
- Bank Account Number
- Social Security Number (SSN)
- Set up alerts for login activity on social media accounts and your email address
The importance of protecting your social media and email accounts cannot be overstated. If a hacker gets into your accounts, it can have devastating consequences for both you and your company. When you first set up an account on a social media site, ensure that you will get alerts when someone logs in from a new device or IP address. This helps you monitor unauthorized activity on your account.
Remember to turn on alerts for the accounts of any brand partners as well—hackers can use these third-party accounts to gain access to yours, so it’s important that everyone involved has the best possible security systems in place.
In addition to setting up login alerts for all of your social media accounts, it is also important to keep track of any changes made to your email address as well. Monitor the activity in this account regularly and set up login alerts so that you know right away if anyone other than yourself attempts entry.
In today’s digital age, social media has become an indispensable part of any marketer’s toolkit. However, with the increase in the number of online security breaches, it is essential to take steps to ensure the security and integrity of your social media accounts. By following the social media security tips outlined in this article, you can safeguard your brand’s reputation, protect your customer’s data, and avoid falling victim to cyber-attacks. Remember to use strong passwords, enable two-factor authentication, regularly update your software, and monitor your accounts for suspicious activities. With these measures in place, you can enjoy the benefits of social media marketing while minimizing the risks.
What is social media security?
Social media security involves taking measures to protect your social media accounts from unauthorized access, hacking, data breaches, and other security threats.
Why is social media security important for marketers?
Marketers use social media to engage with customers, promote their brands, and drive sales. A security breach can damage a brand’s reputation and result in financial losses.
What are some common social media security threats?
Common threats include phishing scams, malware, hacking, fake accounts, and social engineering attacks.
How can I protect my social media accounts?
Use strong and unique passwords, enable two-factor authentication, be cautious of suspicious links and messages, keep your software and apps up-to-date, and monitor your accounts for any unusual activity.
What should I do if my social media account has been hacked?
Change your password immediately, enable two-factor authentication, notify your followers of the breach, and contact the social media platform’s support team.
How can I prevent my employees from compromising social media security?
Train your employees on social media security best practices, limit access to sensitive information, and establish clear policies and guidelines for social media use.
What are some social media security tools and services available for marketers?
There are a variety of social media security tools and services available, including anti-virus software, password managers, security monitoring services, and social media management platforms with built-in security features.