Social media has significantly reduced the time it takes for messages to be communicated between brand and consumer, and vice versa. When you look at networks in terms of business and user growth’s popularity is undeniable – but as you’d expect with any technology at this scale there are security risks.
As a marketing channel social media offers way more over a shorter period of time than “traditional” methods could in terms of integration and engagement. This is why it now commands a significant majority of brands’ marketing spend per year. Sadly, malicious agents are more than aware of this and often see social networking as something of an opportunity.
The first step towards ensuring social media security is having an awareness of which areas are most prone to security breaches. A strong social media policy is often the first step to maximising security for brands, business and organisations. Quite often malicious activity on a business page isn’t the work of a hacker but a result of negligence on the part of those with page roles, so retaining an awareness of each employee’s ability is really important.
One thing’s for sure, when it comes to social media the benefits outweigh the negatives. It certainly doesn’t pay to ignore it on principle of what could happen when all it takes is awareness of a few particular areas to prevent security issues…
Direct issues with social networks
Social media sites are constantly fending off attacks to their servers simply because they are such an irresistible target. These servers contain billions of potentially confidential pieces of personal information, making them a gold mine for hackers. Social networking sites may have stepped up their game – Facebook recently announced it had paid over $5 million to altruistic hackers over the past 5 years for unveiling potential bugs in their system – but hackers are a notoriously resilient bunch.
Because there is no such thing as a hacker-proof server, certain measures should be taken in regards to limiting what sort of information is shared across it. Although it may help to save time, sharing potentially confidential business information across social messaging should be avoided at all costs. Specially designed cloud storage and project management software is far more secure.
Your social media policy
As with anything, when it comes to social media security prevention is the key to tackling issues. Your social media policy should be the first place to look for this. It should provide full information about how employees can and can’t use your social media accounts, the type of information that can be shared and who is authorised to engage in this activity.
When a new employee begins ensure that your social media policy is shared with them and they are encouraged to fully read and understand all of the information within it. It should encourage employees to develop their own personal understanding of the risks associated with social media usage and, if required, seek any training as needed.
Malicious apps, scams, spyware, viruses etc; etc…
The internet boom of the nineties led the scammers into a new era of digital deceit. Now it’s the turn of the social networks. These often come in the style of unsolicited friend requests, automated messages and strange tags, but they are constantly thinking up new and inventive ways to mislead people. Third-party apps and software can also compromise the security of your network.
Your social media policy should have strict guidelines regarding the use of third-party apps. It should also discuss how unsolicited users and automated messages are often scams and should be avoided at all costs. The heart of this document should be that uncertainty should lead to an employee seeking assistance and under no circumstance should suspicious looking links be clicked.
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