5 Tips to help small businesses secure themselves on social media

5 Tips to help small businesses secure themselves on social media

Social media adoption has skyrocketed from just 5% of American adults in 2005 to 72% in 2019. For many of these users, checking their social media accounts is already a part of their daily routine. They use social media to connect with their friends and family, entertain themselves, share information, and also stay updated with the news. So if you want to reach your customers, leveraging social media is a great way to start.

Social media marketing can help small-business owners like you market your products and services, find prospects, strengthen customer relationships, and many more. However, if you’re not careful, your company’s social media accounts may actually put your business at risk, such as suffering from a cyberattack or a lawsuit.

Protect your company on social media by applying the following tips.

#1 Use strong passwords and enable two-step authentication

Create unique and complex passwords for all of your social media accounts. In the event that one of the social media platforms you use suffers a cyberattack, like what happened with Facebook in 2018, change your password for that app immediately. Make sure to update your passwords as well when an employee who has access to your social media accounts leaves the company.

To add another layer of security to your passwords, enable two-step authentication across your social media accounts if it is available. By doing so, even if your password gets stolen, the unauthorized party will still not be able to access your account without fulfilling the additional authentication requirement, such as inputting a one-time password sent to an authorized device.

#2 Regularly review access and publishing privileges

Periodically conduct an audit of the people who have access to your social media accounts. Make sure that access is strictly limited to necessary personnel, such as your digital marketing staff. Doing so will significantly reduce the security risk.

Check if all of these personnel have proper role assignments. Each role has a different set of permissions, with the admin role having the most authority and access. So for Facebook, for example, only assign a moderator role for employees who handle customer service.

#3 Enforce policies on social media usage

Remember when Twitter’s chief financial officer accidentally tweeted about the company’s confidential acquisition plan? Well, that could also happen to your company. After all, employees can easily overshare information on social media, which could result in serious consequences, such as infuriating customers, tipping off competitors, and damaging the firm’s reputation.

To guide your employees on how to responsibly use social media, create a formal social media policy. This should outline the kinds of information that they cannot share publicly, such as confidential matters or things that could put the company in hot water. It should also discuss what actions to take if a mistake is made or your company’s social media account gets hacked.

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#4 Run social media training for your employees

Ensure that your employees will comply with your company’s social media policy by conducting training sessions. Doing so will give them an opportunity to seek clarification about the policy and better understand its importance.

Use these training sessions as well to update them on the latest social media threats and scams. For example, they should be wary about clicking shortened links in direct or private messages. These URLs might direct them to malicious sites or phishing scams.

#5 Be very selective of linked third-party apps

There are many third-party applications, such as post schedulers and analytics, that you can integrate with your social media accounts to help you harness customer insights, save you time, and more.

However, hackers may be able to take over your accounts by exploiting the vulnerabilities of these apps. For example, hackers used the flaw in the Twitter Counter app to gain access to the Forbes and Amnesty International’s Twitter accounts in 2017.

To mitigate such risk, do thorough research first to ensure that you are only using legitimate third-party apps. Review the access and permissions you are giving each app, and customize the settings to limit access only to the data it needs to function. As much as possible, limit the number of third-party apps connected to your social media accounts to minimize the risk.

While these five tips will improve your company’s security posture on social media, you’ll also need to secure the devices they use to access your corporate accounts. PC LAN TECHS offers comprehensive security solutions for various systems. Contact us now to learn more.